There is a good and simple reason drivers are encouraged to be extra cautious during the nighttime hours–reduced visibility can increase the odds of an accident. A recent example showing this just happened on June 4. Shortly after 9:30 pm, the Idaho State Police were called to the scene of a one vehicle rollover crash in Cassia County outside of Burley. Tiffany Lucero was driving east on HIghway 30 when she failed to see and negotiate a curve at milepost 243. She went off the right shoulder, over-corrected, and continued off the left shoulder before her vehicle overturned.
Keep in mind these tips to stay safe while traveling at night:
- Keep things clean– particularly if you often drive at night, you should get in the habit of cleaning your headlights, tail lights, signal lights and windows at least once a week. Dirty windows and lights are a safety hazard — and one that is easy to prevent.
- Reducing your speed and increasing your following distance is a simple way to compensate for the reduced visibility that occurs at night. This also helps you stay alert for deer and other wildlife that may be traveling during the nighttime hours.
- When following another vehicle, keep your headlights on low to prevent blinding the driver ahead of you.
- If an oncoming vehicle doesn’t lower its beams from high to low, avoid the glare by using the right edge of the road as a visual steering guide.
- Do not drive faster than your headlights’ ability to illuminate the road. In most cars, low beams provide 160 to 250 feet of visibility. High beams offer 350 to 500 feet of visibility. If you’re traveling 60 miles per hour, it will take you about 200 feet to stop your vehicle.
- Use your car’s dashboard dimmer switch to dim the lights on your control panel. Dashboard lights that are too bright can compromise your vision when you are driving after dark.
- Take frequent breaks for rest and light exercise. Fatigue kills. A quick walk around a gas station parking lot after you pick up a fresh drink can help you stay alert.
- If your vehicle breaks down, pull off the road as far as you can and warn approaching traffic by turning on your flashers and the dome light.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Despite your best efforts to be safe while driving at night, you may still find yourself involved in an auto accident caused by another driver’s error. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, a personal injury attorney can help protect your legal rights. Please call Holzer Edwards at (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.