Clocks return to standard time this month. These shorter days often have a negative effect on the mind and body – contributing to an increase in driving accidents. A recent study suggests an increase in the number of driving collisions during late afternoon commuting time in the weeks following the end of daylight savings time. It’s a proven fact that nightfall makes us more prone to drowsy driving. The National Safety Council reports traffic fatalities are 3-times greater at night. While drowsy driving drivers play a role, decreased visibility is the main culprit.
As an attorney, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those who are injured as a result of the negligence of others. Accidents and injuries resulting from more night driving, limited visibility, and dangers hidden by darkness can be severe, life-changing, and fatal. I help victims gain the benefits they deserve.
Below are three areas where you can better protect yourself from accidents and injuries resulting from less daylight.
1) Prepare Your Body.
Our bodies’ internal clocks tell us to sleep when it’s dark. Since darkness signals a natural inclination to sleep, we become more prone to drowsy driving in our evening commutes. Get more sleep at night. Eat lighter lunches. Limit late afternoon snacks that slow your metabolism. We need to be more alert.
2) Prepare Your Vehicle.
Refresh your vehicle by cleaning your headlights, windows, taillights, and signal lights. November is a great time to replace your windshield wiper blades. And, make sure you refill your windshield washer fluid reservoir. Make sure your car is operating in good working order. To prepare for our crazy Chicagoland weather, this is a good time to switch to winter snow or all-weather tires. A well-prepared car will help keep you out of trouble on the road.
3) Drive Defensively.
It is likely that the increased darkness limits your reaction time to respond to other drivers, road hazards, and road conditions. Leave more room between you and the car in front of you. The 2-car length rule-keeping 2 car lengths between you and the car in front of you – is a good one.
Your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision decrease after sundown. Watch for that car drifting into your lane.
Know when to use your low beam and high beam headlights. High beams are necessary to see over 350 feet ahead. Of course, always dim your high beams when following another driver or approaching an oncoming car.
Buckle up. Use your turn signals. Check your mirrors for cyclists. Watch for pedestrians in crosswalks. Look-out for animals on the road – deer and other animals are most active at night. Put your cellphone in your pocket.
Chicago Auto Accident Attorneys. We Help Victims.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner are knowledgeable and expert in representing those injured in an accident with automobiles and trucks. Accidents, their cause, and determining responsibility can be very complicated and complex.
We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates. Big insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a highly-trained, skilled attorney to protect your rights. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. 50-years of experience counts.
We make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on securing the compensation you deserve, while you focus on healing.
If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.