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Daylight Saving Time Brings Increased Risks of Car Accidents in Royal Palm Beach

Dr. Val Jones with Healthy Vision recently interviewed optometrist Dr. Cristina Schnider and John Ulczycki of the National Safety Council to discuss the dangers of nighttime driving. With the recent time change, drivers are spending more time on our roadways during dark hours. Statistics illustrate that about a quarter of all travel is done during the evening, yet about half of all fatal car accidents in Royal Palm Beach and elsewhere occur during this time. According to Road and Travel Magazine, about one out of every three drivers admits that they have trouble seeing while driving at night.

Our Royal Palm Beach car accident lawyers understand that many drivers fail to adjust their driving habits during the evening hours. Driving is more dangerous at night because drivers are less likely to see hazards or dangers on our roadways. Because drivers can’t see the dangers, many just assume they aren’t there instead of reducing speed and driving more cautiously.

Even drivers who have perfect vision during the day have a reduction in vision at night. At night, the eyes search around to find an object to focus one. Since there’s less to focus on, the eye wanders looking for something to focus on. This wander makes your overall vision more blurry. What the eye typically focuses in on is the windshield. This is dangerous because there’s much more going on that you should be focused on. It’s important to look past the windshield. You can do this by looking above the headlights of oncoming vehicles.

Another obstacle that nighttime drivers must overcome is the lack of color visibility in your peripheral vision. You typically only see movement, and not color, in your peripheral vision during this time. That’s why it’s so important for you to keep scanning your roadways while driving at night.
Drivers are reminded to blink while driving during the dark hours. People tend to keep their eyes open for a longer time when trying to focus on something. Keeping your eyes open can dry them out and hinder your vision even more.

John Ulczycki from the National Safety Council asks drivers to change their driving habits to accommodate the nighttime dangers on our roadways. He brings up the fact that teen drivers are at a greater risk for a nighttime accident than older, more experienced drivers. While both teens and older drivers face some of the same vision problems, older drivers typically have more experience dealing with these driving conditions. Ulczycki says that teen drivers’ crash rate is three times higher after 9 p.m. than during their daytime accident rate. He suggests that parents ride with their teen drivers for a generous amount of time before cutting them loose on our roadways.

Ulczycki reiterates the importance of curbing all distractions while driving at night. Florida has no law that governs the use of cell phones or text messaging devices for drivers. We’re asking everyone to be safe and be responsible on our roadway to help avoid a potentially fatal nighttime accident.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in Royal Palm Beach, Pompano Beach or in any of the surrounding areas, contact our personal injury lawyers of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-529-2368.

More Blog Entries:
Drowsy Driving Prevention Week Raises Awareness of Preventable Car Accidents in Pompano Beach and Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 10, 2011

Car Accidents in Port St. Lucie and Elsewhere Cost About $300 Billion Annually, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 5, 2011

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