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The risks involved in nighttime driving

With the end of Daylight Saving Time, many drivers in Oklahoma find themselves traveling in the nighttime. This brings a certain set of challenges. While people do only a quarter of their driving at night, 50 percent of traffic deaths occur during this period. Drivers should therefore be aware of those challenges and what they can do to mitigate them.

The first challenge is compromised night vision. Drivers should aim their headlights correctly, avoid looking at oncoming lights and slow down. Speeding drivers will have less time to react to dangers even when their high-beam headlights are on.

Fatigue is another issue that factors in an average of 100,000 police-reported crashes every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers are encouraged to get between seven and nine hours of sleep and to avoid driving if they have been awake for 16 hours or more. During long trips, they should take a break every two hours.

Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs are more common after dark, particularly between midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends. The CDC has stated that 30 people are killed every day in alcohol-related crashes. In addition, evening rush hours raise crash risks. Therefore, commuting drivers should be alert and refrain from distracting activities like calling, texting or eating.

If a driver fails to be responsible behind the wheel and causes a car accident, they cannot blame the nighttime for their mistake. A victim, for their part, may want to see a lawyer after they file a claim with their own insurance company. With legal assistance, they could file a personal injury claim and strive for a settlement that covers past and future medical expenses, lost income and whatever else is applicable.