5 Safety Tips for Driving at Night in Florida
Whether you’re contending with drunk drivers, fatigue, or poor visibility, driving at night can be challenging for any motorist. That’s perhaps why more than 40 percent of all fatal car accidents occur at night, despite there being 60 percent less traffic on the roads. Darkness can compromise your peripheral vision and impair your depth perception. Even when drivers are using their high beams, they can only usually see 350–500 feet in front of them. Other factors such as headlamp glare and drowsy or drunk driving lead to increased injury and fatality numbers for nighttime motorists.
The evening is the most dangerous time to be on the road. Here are a few key pointers and statistics to keep in mind.
Why is Driving at Night More Dangerous?
Driving a vehicle during the day can sometimes be risky, but it becomes exponentially more dangerous when the sun begins to set. Here are a few additional hazards that materialize at night
- Impaired vision: When the sun sets, you start to lose color recognition, depth perception, and peripheral vision. Likewise, reduced visibility can prevent you from seeing street signs, swerving vehicles, and darting animals.
- Headlamp glare: When other vehicles pass you on the road, their headlights can temporarily hinder your vision, which is one of the major causes of nighttime accidents. Headlamp glare typically lingers for a few seconds after a vehicle passes you.
- Drowsiness: Drivers are more prone to fall asleep when it gets dark. Perhaps they’re tired from a long day of work or the monotony of nighttime driving close to their bedtime. In any case, more than 21 percent of fatal car crashes involve a drowsy driver.
- Older drivers: Drivers over 60 years old are often at an even greater risk. As you get older, your night vision begins to deteriorate. It’s important for older drivers to be on full alert and to drive at a reduced speed.
Safety Tips for Night Driving in Florida
Here are a few tips that will help you reduce the risk of navigating Florida roads at night.
- Use your lights: Obvious, but nonetheless important to note. Your headlights are there for a reason, so use them! One common mistake many drivers make is waiting until it’s pitch-black to activate their headlights. It’s always smart to flick them on earlier than you think is necessary. As a rule of thumb, start getting into the habit of turning on your headlights an hour before sunset. Likewise, always confirm that all headlights and taillights are in good working order before you hit the road.
- Avoid glare for you and other drivers: If you’re passing another vehicle, try not to look directly into their headlights. Instead, focus your eyes on your side of the road to avoid headlamp glare. To help out other drivers, use your high beams only when there are no oncoming vehicles. Avoid using your interior lights as well, as it can be dangerous for oncoming traffic and can distract you from the road.
- Slow down: Your visibility is compromised at night, so going at a slower speed will give you more time to respond and react to whatever comes out of the dark. Increase your following distance in order to spot potential problems on the road.
- Remain alert: Avoid drowsy driving by taking regular breaks if necessary and keeping the interior of your car cool. If you’re feeling especially fatigued, don’t drive.
- Know your route: Before you hit the road at night, make sure you know where you’re going by having a GPS or map handy. Getting lost while driving at night can be dangerous for you and other drivers.
Florida Driving Laws
In Florida, there are a few rules that apply to all nighttime drivers in accordance with Statute 316.217:
- All motor vehicles must have two headlights in good working order.
- Headlights must shine a white light.
- Your headlights cannot be covered or otherwise concealed in any way.
- Headlights must be in use between sunset and sunrise or when visibility is otherwise inadequate.
Get Legal Assistance You Can Count on at The Umansky Law Firm
If you’ve suffered injuries in a nighttime car accident, the experienced attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm can help. We’re a group of skilled car accident lawyers who will fight to give you the compensation you deserve. While insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible for your accident-related losses, our experienced attorneys can help you obtain full and fair compensation.
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team has the time and expertise needed to launch an investigation into your case and the circumstances leading up to the crash. We’ll work tirelessly to fight for your rights. Give us a call or complete our online contact form to receive a free consultation.