Daylight Savings Brings More Nighttime Driving and Increased Risks for Car Accidents in North Georgia

Daylight savings time has passed and our nights are starting much earlier. Nighttime serves as a popular backdrop for car accidents in Atlanta and elsewhere. Unfortunately, drivers don't always adjust their driving habits to accommodate for the dark conditions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSA) asks motorists and pedestrians to be extra cautious on our roadways during the evening hours. Although many travelers are unable to see all of the hazards lining our roadways during the night, they're still there.


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Pedestrian accident lawyers understand that of the more than 4,000 fatal pedestrian accidents that occurred in the U.S. in 2009, about a quarter occurred from 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Another 15 percent happened between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. This illustrates just how dangerous it is on our roadways when it's dark out. Although only about a quarter of travel is done during evening hours, nearly 50 percent of fatal accidents occur during this time.

According to the NHTSA, many drivers have a difficult time adjusting to the new low-light environment. It can take some time to adjust to. The Association also urges pedestrians to always carry a flashlight or to wear reflective tape on clothing to be more visible to passing motorists.

A recent podcast from Healthy Vision with Dr. Val Jones discusses the dangers that motorists face our roadways in the dark. Dr. Jones spoke with optometrist Dr. Cristina Schnider and John Ulczycki of the National Safety Council about the hazards.

Dr. Cristina Schnider says that one out of every three drivers admits to having difficulty all or most of the time seeing while driving at night. Even a driver with perfect vision will experience a reduction in visibility while driving at night. When there's less light, our eyes have a more difficult time focusing in on our surroundings. She says that drivers need to be aware that our peripheral vision only allows us to see motion instead of color. This can be dangerous. Drivers are reminded to continuously scan their surroundings to get a full feel on what's going on around their vehicle.

Dr. Schnider would also like to remind drivers to blink. When we try to concentrate on our vision, we tend to not blink. Air conditioning and open windows can also affect the moisture in your eye and hinder your vision. Remember to blink to keep your vision clear.

Dr. Val Jones also spoke with John Ulczycki. He says that the nighttime fatality rate on our roadways is three times higher than the fatality rate during the day. He urges drivers to look above the headlights of oncoming cars. All too often, drivers get caught focusing on the windshield or other vehicle's headlights. This hinders our ability to see the dangers around us. Remember to scan the road and to keep an eye on your surroundings.

Drivers are urged to properly adjust to nighttime driving. Slow down and keep your focus on the roadways. Although you may not be able to see all of the dangers on our roadways, it doesn't mean they're not there. Drive safely and cautiously!

If you or a loved one has been involved in a traffic accident, contact the North Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys at The Law Office of Casey W. Stevens. Call 877-217-7230 for a free case evaluation. Representing clients in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Woodstock and all of North Georgia.