It would appear that fall back is almost upon us. Which means that the daylight hours will be getting shorter and shorter every day. Our evening commutes will no longer see the sun light for a good portion of it. That is why I wanted to write an article on how to safely drive in the evening time. Believe it or not, as any accident lawyer will tell you, there is a big difference between day time driving and night time driving. Below, you will find tips on how to drive safely during the evening hours. If you have been injured in an accident and need an accident attorney, contact us today. Consultations are free!
Accident Lawyer | Safe Driving Practices
It is always in everyone’s best interest to drive safe. However, in the evening, whether you are coming home from work, a first date, etc. making sure you are practicing safe driving will make all the difference. Driving at night can be just as safe as driving during the day time. Below are some precautionary measures you can take that can keep you safe while driving at night.
Headlights, Headlights, Headlights!
Some newer model cars have a setting that will automatically turn your lights on when needed. They have sensors when it is raining, getting darker, etc. If you do not have this feature on your car and you are unsure, when I doubt, turn them on. As the sun starts going down and half of the cars on the road have lights on and others don’t use your best judgment during this time. During this time, even if you are not having a difficult time seeing other cars with your lights off, other cars on the road may have a difficult time seeing you. This is especially true if the sun is behind you and obscuring the view of oncoming traffic.
- some trivia: My accident lawyer tells me that it is actually a law in California that states that you need have your headlights on a half-an-hour before sunset and a half-an-hour after sunrise.
If not for anything else, turn your headlights on in order to help others see you on the road. Not everyone’s vision is clear in the evening.
Take it Slow
Most accident attorneys will tell you that as a general rule, some night time driving will require slower speeds. This is due to decreased visibility on the road; even areas that are well-lit. Meaning, it will take you longer to see and react to hazards on the road, pedestrians, and any other unforeseen obstacles that may get in your way. Because you cannot control the aforementioned, you can control your speed and the way you practice safe driving at night.
We found that a good rule of thumb for driving at night is this: the posted speed limits are the highest speed that is legal – not the highest that is safe. I cannot tell you how many times I was driving in the evening on my road trip, where the highways were not well lit and I drove well below the 80mph speed limit in the right lane. It is always better to be safe than sorry; our accident attorney in Orange County can attest to that.
Pay Attention to Drunk & Tired Drivers
Statistically speaking, there are more drunk and exhausted drivers on the road at night than there are during the day. Now, my accident lawyer is not saying that night time is the only time people drive drunk or tired; but the odds are greater. And as we have discussed before, driving tired can have the same consequences as driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Both of these conditions dramatically lower your reaction speeds and can lead to unintentional reckless behavior. So, with that being said, make sure you are aware of the drivers on the road that are driving erratically.
Be sure to also keep in mind that weekend evenings are statistically more likely to have drunk drivers on the roads. And some holidays are equally, if not more so, worse than weekends when it comes to drunk driving incidents. See our article on The Dangers of Drinking and Driving.
If You’re Tired, Take a Break
This is something that I learned during my road trip. And luckily, working for an accident lawyer in South Orange County I have learned that taking breaks when you are tired and driving are so important. Yes, you need to get to your destination. However, not at the expense of your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Being tired when you are driving, especially at night can result in frequent “spacing out” and weaving in and out of traffic. To fight fatigue when you are driving at night pull over and rest for a bit. Even if you have to find a parking lot somewhere. Make sure you are doing so safely.
Keep Your Eyes Moving
Spacing out and becoming fatigued are two really big problems for people who drive in the evening. In order to stay focused on the road, keep your eyes moving. This will help you stay alert and give your eyes some extra stimulation so that you’re not as easily fatigued. Our accident lawyers highly recommend that you resist the urge to focus on just the middle line of the road – this can take away from your reactive senses in case a deer or any other animal comes across your path.
Evening drives are fun. They can be extremely relaxing and there is nothing more beautiful than the Southern California sunset when you are on your way home after a day of work. Remember to be safe!
Injured? Contact an Accident Attorney Today!
If you have been severely injured in an accident due to the negligent actions of another, do not hesitate to contact an accident attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys today! Not only are consultations free, but you find more dedicated accident lawyers than our team.
Not only have we been able to secure seven-figure settlements for our clients, but we believe that your needs come before anything else. Our accident attorneys have wonderful working relationships with some of the best medical professionals in Orange County. We have years of experience dealing with insurance adjusters who just want to settle your case for far less than what it is worth. Your health and the health of your family comes first. Silverthorne Attorneys will take the burden of the case off of your shoulders so that your sole focus is on getting your life back on track.
Contact Silverthorne Attorneys today to discuss your case. Consultations are free!