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Dr. Val Jones Discusses Nighttime Car Accidents in Oakland Park and Elsewhere

According to Dr. Val Jones on Better Health, driving in the dark is a lot more difficult for some drivers than others. As she interviews optometrist Dr. Cristina Schnider, she discovers that the size of your pupil and your ability to focus directly correlates with available light. When it’s dark outside, you have less to focus on and your eyes work overtime. Many drivers have a slight sight disability as they have a tougher time focusing on things. This can be extremely detrimental and can greatly increase their risks of a nighttime car accident in Oakland Park.

Our Oakland Park pedestrian accident lawyers recently discussed the dangers that nighttime driving brings about. These dangers are increased now that we’ve set our clocks back for Daylight Saving Time. Evenings fall upon us sooner as the sun sets earlier. Oftentimes it takes a while for travelers to adjust to the new settings. We are reminding everyone to be cautious on our roadways during the early morning hours and the evening hours as this is when we see a majority of our traffic accidents.

Drivers are urged to remember a few things to help keep their vision on point when driving a motor vehicle. Remember to blink. People will oftentimes hesitate to blink when they’re focusing on something. It’s also important to keep the wind at bay. Open windows and blasting air conditioning can dry out a person’s eyes and can make it more difficult for them to see, according to Schnider. Drivers are urged to compensate for the lack or light or the difficulty focusing by slowing down. It typically takes drivers longer to react to things at night.

John Ulczycki from the National Safety Council says that nighttime driving negatively affects a driver’s eyes. Peripheral vision and the ability to determine contrast are hindered. These factors vary depending on a driver’s visual ability and age. No matter what your age though, drivers fail to see potential risks more so in the evening than they do in daylight.

Ulczycki reports that nearly 30 percent of travel occurs during hours of darkness and nearly 50 percent of fatal accidents occur during the nighttime hours. Not only does vision affect these statistics, but so does our perception of risk. Since it’s harder to see other people and other vehicles, people fail to see risks.

Glare on windshields is also a common complaint from nighttime drivers. There is a way to reduce the effects of this glare, says Ulczycki. He says it’s important to not look directly into that glare from the headlight of an oncoming car, but to look above it. He also says you should be scanning the roadways anyways instead of looking only in one spot. You need to be aware of what is around you at all times.

Remember that nighttime hours bring out more alcohol-impaired drivers, too. Be cautious of the driving skills of motorists around you. Always drive defensively.

As for younger drivers, the per-mile crash rate for teen drivers is three times higher after 9 p.m. than the rate of any other age group. Talk with your teens and other loved ones about the dangers and risks of driving while dark and perhaps we can all help reduce the number of traffic accidents in South Florida.

Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC are experienced and dedicated attorneys who assist car and pedestrian accident victims and their families in Oakland Park, Hallandale Beach, Weston and Tamarac. Call 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential appointment.

More Blog Entries:

Vehicle Recalls Concern Motorists Hoping to Avoid a West Palm Beach Car Accident, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, November 7, 2011

Emergency Contact Alert Program Can Help Save Lives in a Port St. Lucie Car Accident, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog October 24, 2011

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