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Dangers to avoid when driving at night

Though people in Missouri and the rest of the U.S. only do a quarter of their driving at night, half of all fatal traffic crashes occur after dark. The risk for a fatal crash goes up three times at night, according to the National Safety Council. With the end of daylight saving time, drivers will want to know how they can reduce their risk.

Darkness can compromise depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision. Even with high-beam headlights on, older drivers will not see as well as younger ones. For these reasons, one of the best things that drivers can do is slow down. This will give them more time to react to any unexpected dangers ahead. Headlights should be clean and correctly aimed. The dashboard should be dimmed.

One threat to watch out for is fatigued driving. Sleeping seven to nine hours a day is the ideal amount of time, but working long hours or having a sleep disorder will also increase a person's chances of becoming drowsy while behind the wheel.

The effects of fatigue are similar to those of alcohol impairment, which, coincidentally, is another risk associated with nighttime driving. The hours between midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends are especially dangerous. In addition, rush hour, which takes place between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., requires drivers to be patient and refrain from distracting activities.

Distracted, drowsy and impaired driving are all examples of negligent behavior. If such behavior is behind an auto accident, the person who's not at fault may be able to file an injury claim. It all begins with a lawyer's case evaluation. If there are good grounds for a case under the state's negligence laws, an attorney could go ahead and have investigators and other experts help in building it up. The lawyer could negotiate for a fair settlement.

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