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Driving in the dark increases car accident risks

With fewer daylight hours during the cold winter months in New York, drivers who take to the roads after dark face more crash risks than those driving during the day. Typical causes of car accidents at night include compromised vision and fatigue, not to mention the risk of crossing paths with impaired or distracted drivers. Furthermore, glaring headlights of other vehicles can affect color recognition, depth perception and peripheral vision.

Age plays a role in compromised night vision. Even those with excellent eyesight during the day could have problems seeing in low light. This condition affects mostly older drivers, who may also have degenerative eye diseases or cataracts. However, regardless of age, drivers can combat the darkness in the following ways:

  • Make sure the headlights are clean and aimed correctly.
  • Ensure the windshield is clean and without streaks.
  • Avoid looking directly at the lights of oncoming vehicles.
  • Dim the dashboard lights.
  • Those who wear glasses must make sure they are anti-reflective.
  • Reduce speed to allow enough stopping time and to compensate for the limited visibility.

It is not easy to drive defensively at night because dangerous or negligent drivers have the darkness to disguise the risks they pose for others. However, most car accidents after dark result from the following:

  • Distractions like texting or other phone use and conversations with passengers
  • Side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Fatigue and drowsy driving due to lack of sleep, shift work or extended working hours
  • Impaired driving, caused by alcohol or drugs

Victims of car accidents that happened through no fault of their own might have viable claims to file in a New York civil court. However, for a personal injury lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must establish another party’s negligence. After that, the court will adjudicate documented financial and emotional damages.

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