Safety Advocates Discuss Dangers of Nighttime Driving and Car Accidents in North Carolina, South Carolina and Elsewhere

With daylight savings we got an extra hour of sleep, but we also get more dangerous roadways. Car accidents in South Carolina and North Carolina are more common during the evening hours. According to Healthy Vision with Dr. Val Jones, one out of every three drivers say that they have a difficult time seeing all or most things at night.

Dr. Jones recently spoke with John Ulczycki of the National Safety Council and optometrist Dr. Cristina Schnider about driving in the dark.
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Our Asheville and Greenville, SC car accident lawyers understand that even though only a quarter of travel takes place at night, about 50 percent of fatal car accidents occur during this time. According to Dr. Schnider, drivers have a difficult time identifying dangers on our roadways when it’s dark out. Most drivers don’t take the time out to adjust their driving skills to better accommodate the conditions. You’re three times more likely to be in an accident during the night than during the day.

While all drivers are affected by this light change, teens are more drastically affected. These drivers possess much less experience behind the wheel than older drivers. While older drivers are still at risk, they’re better able comprehend the dangers and risks on our roadways at night. They’ve dealt with the conditions much more.

Dr. Schnider says that drivers need to be aware of their peripheral vision when driving at night. Our peripheral vision only allows us to see motion instead of color while driving during the evening. For this reason it’s important to continuously scan your surroundings.

John Ulczycki from the National Safety Council talks to Dr. Val about the importance of focusing on your vision while driving at night. Our eyes tend to pick up and focus in on things that we can see, which is usually the glare on our windshields. This isn’t good. Drivers are urged to look above the headlights of oncoming vehicles.

John goes on to talk about our reaction time in the dark. He says that since we’re less likely to see our surroundings, we’ll have less time to react once we identify a hazard. Drivers are urged to slow down and to focus all of their attention on the roadways while driving at night.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrians are at an increased risk for accidents at night, too. There were more than 4,000 pedestrians killed on U.S. roadways in 2009. About 25 percent of these accidents happened from 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. There were an additional 15 percent experienced between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. The NHTSA says that adjusting to the new low-light environment can take some time.

Pedestrians are urged to carry a flashlight or to wear reflective tape on their clothing to make themselves more visible to motorists. Pedestrians should never rely on street lights or street signs. Motorists can miss these traffic devices and put you in danger. You should never jaywalk or cross the street between two parked cars. Always cross at a street corner or at a crosswalk. Lastly, pedestrians are urged to walk on a sidewalk when there’s one available. If there’s no sidewalk and you must walk on the street, do so facing oncoming traffic.

Everyone is urged to travel cautiously when the sun sets. These accidents can be avoided with a little more alertness and awareness on our roadways.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic accident, contact the North Carolina and South Carolina Injury attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

More Blog Entries:

Teens Provide Vital Information Regarding Risks of Car Accidents in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 7, 2011
Motorists More Likely to Die in Car Accidents in North Carolina Rural Areas than in Big Cities, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 30, 2011

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