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With the shorter days, it’s likely you’ll do more of your driving in the dark. Driving at night, combined with the wet and icy road conditions we often encounter as the temperatures drop, can make hitting the road more dangerous. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:
The large information and entertainment LED screens many cars have these days can cause quite a bit of distracting light. Find your car’s dimmer switch and turn down the brightness. Also, be aware that lights from other sources like your GPS screen can diminish your nighttime vision. That’s certainly not to say you shouldn’t use a GPS, but drive with caution if there are extra lights on inside your car.
Glasses – especially prescription lenses – reflect light, and that can have an impact on your ability to see clearly in the dark. If you wear glasses, choose prescription lenses with anti-reflective coating.
It can be tempting to turn on your high beams when it’s dark, but there are times when they’re appropriate and times when they’re not. In general, you shouldn’t use your high beams if you’re driving on city streets, if there’s oncoming traffic, or if conditions are foggy. On the other hand, it can be helpful to use them on clear nights when you’re driving on rural or low-traffic roads with no oncoming traffic.
Bright lights will certainly catch your attention at night, but looking directly at the headlights of an oncoming car will inhibit the ability of your eyes to readjust to the dark. It also means you’re not looking at the road ahead of you. So be aware of when a car is coming toward you, but don’t look directly at it when driving at night.
This one may seem obvious but it’s worth repeating. It can be easy when you’re on the road to forget that the higher speed you’d drive during the day may not be safe at night. While you don’t want to drive so slowly you’re interrupting the flow of traffic, you also want to make sure you’re not driving above a speed that’s safe for nighttime travel.
Slowing down and taking extra precautions when driving this time of year can seem like a nuisance, but these small steps can go a long way toward keeping you safe on the road.
Of course, if you have an accident and the liability is questionable, contact jandils.com for a free consultation.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law