As the clocks are set back one hour and the fall light turns to early dusk and dark, drivers are at a higher risk of night time accidents. In addition to reduced vision, drivers may also suffer drowsiness and reduced awareness when driving at night. While the risks of night time driving are well-documented, new headlight systems are being explored to improve vision and night driving safety.
Accidents are often the result of negligence and unpreventable; however, there are some safety features that can help keep you and your family safe. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys are dedicated to driver and vehicle safety. We are abreast of current safety and market trends to help you when making the decision to purchase a vehicle. In the event of an accident our legal team can investigate the facts, identify responsible parties, and pursue compensation on your behalf.
The Lighting Research Center at Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute is developing new headlight systems to improve vision and prevent accidents and injuries. Reports indicate that even though night driving increases the risk of accidents, most U.S. roadways do not have appropriate lighting to keep drivers and their passengers safe. Many city, state, and other local governments are having difficulties paying to install and maintain road lighting. Despite the lack of funding to improve lighting conditions on American roads and highways, it is unlikely that the proportion of nighttime driving will go down anytime soon, especially in today’s economy which requires workers on the job 24-7.
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is reviewing the potential for new lighting technologies to improve safe driving at night. The advances systems will include new car headlight systems that allow cars to see ahead of the curve. The visual performance models will use adaptive curve data, assessing the way that light swivels or bends. The new headlights will be able to shine light directly on the roadway curves to avoid blind spots. According to visibility analysis field studies, the new lights were able to reduce nighttime crash frequencies by 4% when used on roadways with deep curves. The new system reduced accidents by 1-2% when used at higher speeds with less curves.
The new technology will be especially useful for nighttime driving on low-lit and remote areas, especially if there are a lot of turns and curves, such as through the mountains or on the ocean coast. The advanced safety features are already appearing on international vehicle models.
Another feature which is improving nighttime driving safety allows drivers to use their “brights” or high-beam lights while dimming the beam when other drivers are present. This will prevent the glow which can blind other drivers and create the risk of accidents. The use of adaptive high-beams has been shown to reduce accidents by 7% when compared to using low-beam headlights.
Both of the adaptive headlight features have been shown to reduce accidents and improve visibility. Researchers are hoping to maximize safety for drivers at night. This winter, be wary of the particular dangers of night driving. If you are investing in a new vehicle, remember that there are features available to help improve safety or you and your family.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Florida Pedestrian Safety a Summer Concern, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 17, 2013
Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Focus on Intoxicated Pedestrians, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 10, 2013