A frequently occurring issue at this time of year is the increase in South Carolina auto accidents caused by poor visibility at night. This is because from the time that daylight savings time ends to the time that it begins again, the darkness of night comes earlier and darkness is far more dangerous for drivers than daylight. There are many causes of this, including the blinding glare of headlights, the simple reduced visibility on dark roads, and the fact that many people suffer from what is known as night blindness.
Anyone who travels after dark needs to be especially cautious, and those who have night blindness, or poor visibility in the dark, need to be even more careful. Being aware of the risks associated with driving after dark is only the first half of the solution to this problem when it comes to your own safety, and knowing what to do to prevent nighttime accidents is the second half. Finally, in case such an accident does occur, you also need to know what to do after the fact.
Understanding the Risks of Poor Visibility at Night on South Carolina Auto Accidents
As mentioned, the first half of the solution for preventing nighttime auto accidents in South Carolina is to fully understand the risks. To begin with, you are three times more likely to get into an auto accident at night than during the day, regardless of your ability to see after dark.
Then, there are millions of people on the roads who have some level of night blindness. Depending on the severity, seeing after dark might be somewhat difficult or completely impossible for the driver with this condition. Some people have blurred vision after dark. Others are more susceptible to the blinding glare of headlights coming their direction.
One of the most common causes of night blindness is having cataracts in your eyes. This can impair vision during the day, as well, but is especially disabling after dark. Another frequent cause of vision problems, day and night, is having diabetes. Then, there are those who have had Lasik surgery and experienced some complications from the procedure, making them more sensitive to blinding glare of headlights and, in some cases, even sensitive to street lights.
A common cause of reduced nighttime visibility that many people don’t even think about is having excessive exposure to the sun. You might be surprised to learn that this can impact your ability to see at night for two days after this exposure. Then, there are the less common causes, which include deficiencies in certain vitamins, like Vitamin A or Zinc. Making changes to your diet or simply taking supplemental vitamins could improve your vision in such cases.
Taking Steps To Prevent South Carolina Auto Accidents Resulting From Poor Visibility
The second half of solving this problem of poor visibility at night is knowing what steps to take to prevent such auto accidents from occurring. If you have serious night blindness, then you need to avoid driving at all after dark. You may need to carpool home from work or have someone pick you up if you don’t get out of work until after dark. It is not always possible to schedule your workday around your night blindness, but you can find other solutions to keep you from putting yourself and others at risk.
No matter how good your vision at night may be, you should also take certain steps to increase your visibility when driving after dark. For example, make sure that your windshield and headlights are clean. If you are being affected by the headlights of drivers behind you, adjust your mirrors. Allow yourself time to adjust to the darkness before you start driving, and keep your dashboard lights dim.
When drivers are headed towards you on the other side of the road, avoid looking at their lights directly. Finally, do what you can to avoid blinding anyone else on the road with your own headlights by turning off your brights when there is oncoming traffic.
What To Do After a Nighttime Auto Accident in South Carolina
The steps that you need to take after a nighttime auto accident in South Carolina are mostly the same as those you would need to take during the day, modified by the conditions. Nighttime accidents can be even more disorienting, but your main objective is always to stay calm and respond appropriately to the situation. Keeping a flashlight in your car is a good idea, just in case. Then, you can use this or the flashlight on your cell phone to get a better look at any injuries and damages. Contact the police, and if there are injuries, contact emergency medical assistance. Take photos of any damages and injuries, and exchange insurance information and contact information with the other driver. Seek medical treatment as soon as you can, then contact a skilled South Carolina auto accident attorney at the earliest opportunity.
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David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.