November 1, 2019
Jonathan J. Russell


This Sunday morning, at 2 AM, Daylight Savings Time will end. We will move our clocks back one hour. While many will welcome the extra hour of sleep we gain, when Daylight Saving Time ends, many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark.

According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities are 3 times greater at night than during the day. Fatigue, compromised night vision, and impaired drivers are some of the risks we face when driving at night. These risks become especially pronounced moving into the weekend, with fatal crashes peaking on Saturday nights, according to NSC analysis of NHTSA data.

Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver.
Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react, especially when driving at higher speeds.

Ninety percent of your reaction time depends on your ability to see what’s around you. Since your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision decrease after sundown, your chances for a car accident tend to increase.

According to the American Optometric Association, as we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. At age 60 and older, driving can become even more difficult due to compromised vision as a result of cataracts and degenerative eye diseases.

While we only do 25% of our driving at night, 50% of all traffic deaths happen at night.

So what can you do? According to the National Safety Council, here are some helpful suggestions.

● Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean
● Dim your dashboard
● Look away from oncoming lights
● If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective
● Clean the inside of your windshield to eliminate streaks
● Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time
● Have annual vision exams
● Minimize distractions. Don’t touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting
● Check with your doctor about side effects of prescription drugs
● Get seven or more hours of sleep a night

At Drake, Hileman & Davis, our personal injury attorneys have been concerned for the safety of those in our community for more than 34 years. We have been helping the injured find answers, whenever tragedy strikes. With a proven track record of results and satisfied clients, we’re ready to answer your questions and provide you with the legal help you need. Contact us on-line or call us at 1-888-777-7098 to schedule your free consultation in the convenience of your home or at one of our five offices located throughout the region.