April 8, 2020
Picture it – you’re driving along at night and you see bright high beams off in the distance as another car draws nearer. You expect them to switch their high beams off as a courtesy, but they don’t. You flick your own high beams at them to let them know their lights are interfering with your vision, but they still refuse to switch them off. As a result, you miss a sharp turn in the road, and veer into a tree, resulting in a serious injury.
Situations like these can and do happen, and it’s important to know what your options are in the event that you are in a car accident caused by another driver failing to lower their high beams.
First, Report the Accident
Refusing to lower high beams when there is oncoming traffic puts other drivers at risk. Indiana Code states that high beams must not be used when approaching another driver within 500 feet or when following behind another vehicle closer than 200 feet. If your car accident happened because another Indiana driver refused to follow the law and lower their high beams, they should be held accountable.
If you are able to prove that the other driver failed to properly follow traffic laws, the other driver can be held at fault for their unsafe actions.
After the collision, report the incident to the police and then seek proper medical attention. The police will file a vital piece of evidence called a police report. The police report establishes the details of the car accident and helps insurance companies determine who is at fault. If the other driver was unsafely using their high beams, it will be mentioned on the police report.
If you suffered an injury as a result of a negligent driver failing to safely turn off their high beams, you could receive compensation in terms of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Driving Safely at Night
You can’t prevent every accident, but careful preparation and safe driving practices can help you avoid a nighttime car accident.
Night driving can be extremely dangerous, so exercise caution while on the road. Use your high beams while driving so you can see clearly, but remember to dim them when approaching another vehicle. If the other car fails to dim its own beams, don’t look into the lights or you will obscure your own vision. Instead, keep your vision to the right and watch the other car with your peripheral vision.
Don’t forget to adjust your rearview mirror to the night setting. It’s an effective tool for being able to see the cars behind you, but without the distracting glare. Keep all lights inside the car off so you can clearly focus on the road ahead of you.
Your car’s cleanliness can make a big difference as well. Research done by AAA has shown that dirty headlights can reduce up to 80% of light, making the road less visible. Always check and make sure your lights are clean and free of dirt and grime before you go for a night drive.
That goes for your windshield, too. It is incredibly important to keep a clean windshield and make necessary repairs that might otherwise impede your vision. Streaks, dirt, and dead bugs will significantly impair your vision if another car’s headlights hit them in the right spot.
If you have a long journey ahead of you, it’s okay to take a break. Your full attention should be on the road, so if you feel yourself dozing off, safely pull over and shut your eyes for a moment or two. You can continue when you are rested and fully alert.
Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney
Following these safe night driving tips can greatly reduce your risk of an accident. But someone’s illegal use of high beams causes you to crash, you have options.
Once you have received treatment for your injuries, consider getting the assistance of an Indiana personal injury attorney. Your attorney will collect documentation of the accident, including police reports and medical records. They can file a personal injury claim for you and communicate with insurance on your behalf. While they deal with the insurance company, you can focus on recovering.
If you were injured because of another driver’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills. The personal injury lawyers at Hensley Legal Group can help if you suffer an injury as a result of the accident. Call us or contact us online today for a free consultation about your personal injury claim .