Driving in Darkness
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto Personal Injury Lawyer. Those who have experienced driving at night have likely encountered more than a few problems. The visibility is reduced, making it difficult to see obstacles in the way. Headlights and high beams from other drivers can be blinding. What are some of the major contributing factors to evening accidents and what can be done to prevent these from happening in the future? Failure to heed the dangers of the open road can lead to car accidents that could result in multiple injuries and a trip to the hospital.
Darkness: Safety Comes First
While it is preferable to avoid driving at night, sometimes this isn’t possible. For those that have to be on the road during the dark hours, there are several tips that should be followed to avoid auto accidents. If an accident occurs, serious injuries, such as bone fractures, could result.
- Always Wear a Seat Belt: First, people should always wear their seatbelt whenever they drive a car. This is especially important for driving at night. In addition to safety in an accident, the seat belt will also help people to keep from rolling around in the car going around tight curves.
- Headlights are a Must: Next, everyone should use their headlights while driving. This can help to illuminate the roads and is absolutely necessary to make sure that all obstacles, such as branches and animals, are seen. If these obstacles are seen, evasive action should be taken.
- High Beams should be Used with Caution: While headlights are important for locating animals and pedestrians, high beams should only be used when no other cars are around. High beams are useful for illuminating areas of pitch black darkness; however, they can also be blinding for other cars that are passing by. If other drivers are blinded by high beams, they will not be able to see the other cars coming down the road. This can lead to serious accidents that could include catastrophic personal injuries.
Clearly, driving at night requires some additional caution and failure to take the proper safety precautions can lead to disastrous accidents. A recent review article was written and released regarding driving at night and the risks involved. Learn more below.
Literature Publication: Driving in the Dark
While the focus in the prior sections was on the physical hazards of driving at night, the review article took a new approach and discussed the dangers of night driving from a biological perspective. This is important because it helps people to understand just exactly why their bodies struggle to see effectively at night, aside from the general lack of light.
- The Circadian Rhythm: Circadian rhythm is the biological clock of the body. This explains why people get hungry at certain times of day and why they get tired at night. The circadian rhythm controls fatigue and sleep hours, making people get tired as the hour approaches their usual bedtime. When this time is reached, their physical and cognitive performance will start to suffer. This means that their reflexes will start to slow and their judgment may become poor. For this reason, driving at night is less safe than driving during the day and circadian rhythm is something to keep in mind.
- Work-Related Issues: The paper also conducted a study of individuals who perform routine tasks as part of their occupation. They took a look at their task performance at varying hours of the day and found that those who performed tasks during the day were more accurate at those tasks than those who performed those tasks at night. They also found that the percentage of accidents and injuries related to the workplace were higher during the night hours than during the day hours.
The mechanisms leading to the results of this research study are likely tied to the same sleep and fatigue mechanisms that are related issues with driving at night.
Accident Prevention is the Key
Clearly, the levels of alertness, concentration, and focus drop when someone approaches their bedtime hour. This is tied to the circadian rhythm and supported by the evidence of research studies. Therefore, people should exercise as much caution as possible while driving at night and avoid it if at all possible. When behind the wheel, individuals should take steps to remain as alert and focused as possible. Future studies should try to expand the issues of working and driving at night to include fields that might be particularly high-stress, especially those where accidents could lead to fatal accidents and wrongful deaths. Those who have been injured while working or driving at night should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer so that a full investigation can be conducted.
Modesto Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto Personal Injury Lawyer. Car accidents can result in devastating injuries to those affected. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car, motorcycle or trucking accident, please call me for free, friendly advice at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
As an injury lawyer, I have helped many families of Modesto in retrieving fair restitution for their claims involving traumatic injury and wrongful death since 1982.
The Million Dollar Advocates Forum of the state of California has inducted me into the honored ranks of its chapter.
I encourage everyone to browse through our verdicts and settlements.
Image Attribution: By “Tobias-Steinert” via Pixabay
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