Ways to Stay Safe When Driving at Night in FloridaJacksonville Accident News
Driving alone anywhere in Florida can be extremely hazardous, but additional risks are added at night. Multi-vehicle accidents caused by driver fatigue and drunk driving are more common at night than during the day. Night driving is often the cause of many serious Florida car accidents. Nocturnal wildlife that is more active in the nighttime hours may be on the roads and unseen due to low visibility. People who drive alone at night also run the added risk of becoming potential targets for criminals. Fortunately, there are several precautions you can take if you must drive at night.
Tips to Help with Night Driving in Florida
Here are some things you can do to help you avoid being involved in an accident at night:
- Bring Another Person With You – A friend in the front seat has more responsibilities than just acting as your DJ. Having someone else in the car can help you stay more awake, and is also an extra set of eyes to spot wildlife on the road and help with directions. Having two people in the car lowers the risk of becoming targets for criminals than just driving alone. If you get too tired while driving, the passenger can take over driving duties.
- Optimize Visibility – Use your headlights and high beams as needed to allow other drivers on the road to see you more clearly. Using headlights properly also allows you to be more aware of your surroundings and potential wildlife. If you wear glasses, be sure that your lenses are the correct prescription and consider a no-glare coating so you can see better at night. Adjust interior lighting and dash lights to further prevent glare. If you wear contacts, wearing them at night can become uncomfortable as the lenses dry from all-day use. Consider having a pair of glasses with no-glare coating handy for night driving. Also, have a bottle of contact solution and a contact case readily available in the car if a switch needs to be made.
- Prevent Breakdowns – Keeping your car regularly maintained and in good repair will greatly reduce the chances of it breaking down in the middle of the road. Make sure your car is filled with gas and know the car’s mileage per gallon rate to determine when to fill up during the day. Keeping an approved five-gallon gas container in the trunk of the car may be used as an extra precaution for those just-in-case moments.
- Avoid Using Cruise Control at Night – Cruise control is a great tool that all drivers take advantage of to control what speed they’re driving at. However, using cruise control at night can take your focus off the drive itself, making you less alert and more susceptible to getting in an accident.
- Lock Your Doors and Keep all Valuables Hidden – If you must drive alone at night, make sure your car’s doors are locked at all times, even if you’re inside. None of your valuable items should be seen from any outside angle to help prevent the risk of becoming a target for a criminal. You can also turn off your interior lights to make the interior of the car less visible.
- Avoid Getting Lost – Even well-known routes can look different in the dark. Use your GPS device, cell phone, and instructions to make sure you arrive safely at your destination. Stick to main roads that are better lit and may have more open businesses and landmarks.
- Be Prepared for the Unexpected – Always be one step ahead. If your car does happen to break down, call for help, and stay inside until a tow truck or other professional comes to help. Remember to keep your doors locked at this time. Keeping an extra set of clothing, non-perishable food, drinking water, a roadside emergency kit, and blankets in the trunk will help you be more prepared for a possible breakdown. If you see a driver acting suspiciously or aggressively, always trust your instincts. Lock your doors and drive to an open gas station or business, local police station, or call for help.
- Stay Alert – Driving in the dark night can make you feel more sleepy, and it should be avoided when you’re already tired. But if you must drive at night, keeping the interior of the car cool can help you stay more awake. Coffee and energy drinks can also help keep you alert. If you are going to need breaks, plan ahead to stop at open gas stations or other open business to lower your risks.
The Risks Involved With Drowsy Driving At Night
Research suggests that individuals are more at risk of being involved in a car crash in Florida with the less sleep they get. The rate of crashing with four or fewer hours of sleep is twelve times higher than with a full night’s rest of eight hours. Young drivers are especially at risk of crashing with less sleep. Drowsy driving severely impairs one’s reaction time, judgment, vision, and capability to retain short term information. Moodiness and aggressive behaviors are increased when behind the wheel with a lack of sleep. Ways to tell if you’re getting sleepy while driving includes continuous yawning, drifting from your lane, hitting rumble strips, missing exits, and inability to remember the last few miles of driving. If you notice yourself getting too tired to drive, pull over in a safe area, and take a quick nap. Avoid driving after just waking up. If a nap is not an option, consuming the equivalent of two cups of coffee can increase alertness for hours.
Talking With a Personal Injury Attorney In Florida
At Sheftall Law, our personal injury attorneys understand how stressful and scary it is to be involved in an accident at night. With decades of experience, we have the legal knowledge necessary to take care of your needs and rights in these trying times and we will stand by your side until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Florida, please contact a personal injury attorney at Sheftall Law at (904) 569-6025 today to explore the legal options that are available to you.