Check that your headlights are working and nothing is blocking them, such as mud or grime. Lights with plastic lens covers can fade or yellow with time, so replace them if necessary. Always turn headlights on at dusk and be sure to use your high beams wisely. Your high beams may prevent other drivers from seeing the road, which can create a dangerous situation. So turn them off when other vehicles are in the area or are approaching.
Your headlights can help you spot animals in the road, which can be extremely difficult at night. But your headlights can reflect their eyes, so slow down if you spot what could be the reflections of the animal's eyes. This might be especially important if you’re venturing outside of Cleveland and find yourself on a country road.
A dirty windshield can prevent you from seeing clearly, especially if you’re driving at night when street lamps and other drivers’ headlights shine on your windshield. The same is true of your side mirrors. Make sure your windshield is clean before your hit the road at night.
Driving while drowsy at any time is dangerous, but it’s especially true at night when many drivers are tired or getting tired. Make sure you’re well-rested before driving after dark. Avoid medications that make you sleepy, and if taking a long drive, stop for breaks.
Speeding and weaving in and out of traffic can be especially dangerous at night. Drivers who might be fatigued (see above) might not see you as clearly as they can during the day. Follow the speed limit, use your turn signals to change lanes and only change lanes when you have adequate room. When driving behind another vehicle, keep a safe distance. Remember that visibility decreases at night so you may need extra space. Also, keep your headlights on low beam when following someone so they aren’t blinded by your lights. And, of course, this also means calling a cab or designated a sober driver if you plan to drink or have been drinking. The night and early morning is when a lot of drunk driving accidents occur, so be on the lookout for impaired drivers.
Although distractions should be avoided at all times, the risk can be greater at night when visibility is more difficult, and many drivers become fatigued after a long day. So don’t use a cell phone, reach for something on the other seat or the floor, eat or drink in the car, or otherwise engage in activities that would take your focus off the road. If you need to make a phone call, check an email or need a snack, find a safe place to stop and get off the road.
We hope you’ll never have to call us, but if you’re in an accident in the Cleveland area – whether at night or during the day – give us a call to set up a consultation with an attorney. At Ryan, LLP, we help accident victims pursue fair compensation that covers their expenses and losses after an accident for which another party is at fault.