♫ Turn on your heartlight
Let it shine wherever you go
Let it make a happy glow
For all the word to see ♫
Apologies to Neil Diamond for borrowing his lovely lyrics for the purposes of this educational blog post, but just as heartlights are important to a crooner such as Mr. Diamond, vehicle headlights—happy and shining for all the world to see—are incredibly important to us as drivers on the road.
It’s the time of year when driving in the mornings and at night can all occur in twilight or darkness. When did you last check your headlights, taillights and signal lights to ensure that all were operational and properly functioning? Improved safety features of newer cars are Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) or automatic lights, which have the ability to switch to full lights in low light conditions. While the convenience of automatic lights and DRLs are great, it can cause us to forget to physically turn on our lights, lulling us into a false sense of security at nighttime or in low visibility conditions. Heavy fog, rain, or snow can affect a car sensor’s ability to trigger the operation of full lights and inhibit other drivers, or worse, pedestrians, from seeing you.
Not being seen and not seeing should concern every driver on the road. Ensuring regular maintenance and repair of broken or non-functioning lights is an easy fix to a potentially dangerous situation which enables drivers to see any debris or hazards on the road, and, most importantly, to help prevent accidents.
Another seasonal light related issue is Glare! Like maintaining lights for safety, here are a few tips to minimize glare and the challenge of night driving:
- Speed: maintain a speed that matches the reach of your headlights. Reduced visibility conditions require that you adjust & decrease your speed accordingly.
- Keep a look out: keep your eyes moving and alert to the curve, road conditions, and terrain and don’t focus on the middle distance lit by your headlights. Paying attention to this will help indicate oncoming vehicles.
- Seek hard lines and sides of objects: focusing on outlines or edges of objects helps detect figures in low visibility better.
- Protect eyes: eye fatigue due to exposure and eyestrain can affect focus and visibility at night. Protect eyes during the day with sunglasses and rest eyes before night driving.
- High beams: look away from high beams and toward the lane edge or painted lines to avoid being blinded by an on-coming vehicle with high beams.
If you’ve been injured by a driver at night or due to improperly functioning lights, or due to glare, contact one of our experienced personal-injury attorneys at the law firm of Bell & Pollock P.C. so we can help you formulate your Legal Game Plan.™