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The dangers of nighttime driving

The change back to standard time can make rush hour driving even more dangerous for Kentucky motorists. Earlier sunset means many people are suddenly driving in the dark after months of driving in daylight at the same time of day. Nighttime is statistically the most dangerous time for driving, according to the National Safety Council, and the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night than during daylight.

Darkness causes changes in depth perception, which can make driving more difficult. Color recognition and peripheral vision are also compromised when driving in the dark, and the addition of headlight glare from other vehicles can make the situation even worse. During rush hour, many drivers may be fatigued after a day at work. All of these factors contribute to the higher risk of crash at this time of day.

The NSC recommends that nighttime drivers check their headlights regularly to make sure they are clean and aligned properly. A clean windshield without streaks can help a driver to see more clearly at night. It's recommended that drivers dim dashboard lights when driving at night, and always look away from oncoming lights. Drivers who wear glasses should make sure they have an anti-reflective coating, NSC says, and all nighttime drivers should drive slower than usual to compensate for lower visibility.

In Kentucky, someone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident may be entitled to compensation. The state divides compensation into three categories: economic, noneconomic, and punitive. Economic damages help an injured person pay for medical expenses, help with lost wages or job loss and provide money for other expenses related to the injury. Noneconomic damages cover pain and suffering or emotional suffering. Punitive damages are awarded in some cases, and these are designed to punish the negligent party.

SOURCE: Taliaferro, Carran & Cowherd, PLLC, 'What Damages are Available Through a Personal Injury Claim?", 2018

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