Since Daylight Saving Time ended in Ohio at 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 4, many of the state’s residents will be driving home from work in the dark. This is a reason to be concerned because a study carried out by the National Safety Council reveals that the chances of crashing are approximately three times higher at night. Experts say that nighttime accident risks are higher because of reduced visibility, light glare and fatigue.
Reduced visibility is perhaps the most serious nighttime driving hazard. It takes a car traveling at 50 mph only a few seconds to cover the 250 feet of roadway illuminated by standard headlights, and the problem is made worse by glare from oncoming headlights and quiet roads that encourage motorists to drive faster than they perhaps should. Older drivers who venture out onto the roads at night should be especially vigilant as the eyes deteriorate with age. A person in their retirement years needs twice as much light to see clearly as a person in their 30s.
The dangers of drowsy driving are well established and most drivers know that losing an hour of sleep impairs them as much as having a drink, but research suggests that being aware of the risks does not deter motorists from getting behind the wheel while dangerously fatigued. More than a third of the drivers polled by the National Sleep Foundation admitted to falling asleep while driving on at least one occasion, and 60 percent said that they regularly drove while drowsy.
The victims of drowsy drivers often suffer debilitating injuries that may require months of costly medical treatment, and the effects of a serious brain injury can last for a lifetime. When pursuing civil remedies on behalf of car accident victims who have suffered life-changing injuries, experienced personal injury attorneys may consult with medical specialists or other experts to get a better understanding of the amount of damages that will be needed to pay for treatments.