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Shorter days in winter could increase the chances of an accident

Driving back and forth to work, running errands and taking care of your family each day can be exhausting. Most people here in Texas and elsewhere tend to operate with a sleep deficit because they simply cannot get the amount of sleep they need, especially during the week.

During the winter, the early darkness tends to make matters worse. Between the shorter days in winter and turning the clocks back, you may find it difficult to avoid driving in the dark, which can make you even more tired when you are already experiencing fatigue. Moreover, you may be one of those people who has issues seeing at night.

You can make driving in the dark less hazardous

Driving in the dark affects color recognition, peripheral vision and depth perception. This immediately puts you at a disadvantage when driving in the dark before considering any other factors. For this reason, following some basic safety tips could help raise your chances of getting to your destination safe and sound:

  • Make sure your windshield is clean and streak free.
  • Make sure your eyeglasses, if you wear any, have an anti-reflective coating.
  • Make sure your headlights are clean, aimed in the right direction and working properly.
  • Make sure that you don't look directly into oncoming headlights or other lights on the roadway.
  • You could also dim your dashboard light so it doesn't interfere with your ability to see.
  • Make sure that you have no distractions while driving, and this includes talking to passengers, especially if you have trouble seeing at night or are already tired.

It also helps to drive more slowly at night. This could give you the few extra seconds you need to see an obstacle in time to avoid it. It also shortens the braking distance you need to avoid a collision.

When other drivers don't do their part

Even if you follow these simple tips, you could still encounter fatigued, impaired, distracted or just plain impatient drivers. They tend to put the lives of everyone they share the road with at risk. The darkness only adds to the danger.

If you suffer injuries in an accident with a driver who fails to adjust his or her driving for the dark, you could face a significant recovery period. You probably need medical attention and could end up needing time off work while you get better. The financial damages you incur as a result may be compensable through a personal injury claim.

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