Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has had a tremendous impact on changing the narrative on drunk driving and making it socially unacceptable to get drunk and drive. The organization, which was started by a mother who lost her child in a drunk driving accident, also has done a lot of public education and lobbying to try to inform the public about drunk driving dangers and to try to institute strong laws to deter DUI offenders.
On February 15, 2013, MADD also tackled another issue that drivers often face: the risk of driving at night. Our Boston drunk driving accident attorneys urge everyone to pay attention to the tips provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving so they can drive more safely after dark.
MADD Tips for Night Driving
According to MADD, seven out of ten drivers in the United States is afraid to drive at night as a result of problems with low visibility. Drivers who are afraid to drive at night have varying concerns. Forty-percent of those drivers, for example, fear that they will hit a person or an animal when they are driving after dark. A quarter of surveyed drivers indicated that they were worried about their ability to see road markings and signs after the sun had set.
These concerns of drivers may be legitimate, at least to some extent, because visibility is worse at night and it is thus harder to stay safe and avoid crashes. MADD has provided some tips to help those who are afraid to drive at night, and their advice includes the following:
- Prepare to drive safely before getting on the road. This means adjusting the mirrors; setting the dimming feature on your rear-view mirror if you have this option; and making sure that the headlights are working and free of debris.
- Pay attention to headlights. Your own headlights should be set on high if you are driving in the country or on deserted roads but should be set lower for city driving so they do not blind others. You’ll also have to pay attention to the headlights of others. If you are being blinded by the bright headlights of an oncoming car, then you should try to move into a different lane where the headlights aren’t in your direct view. If you are being blinded by overly bright headlights behind you, then you may wish to move to the right to allow the car to pass or even to find a safe place to pull over and allow the other car to go ahead.
- Keep your windows clear. You should have an ice scraper with you in your vehicle at all times in order to make sure you can clear off snow and ice if an unexpected storm develops. It is also essential to keep your wiper fluid full and to be sure your wiper blades are working. The time to do this is before the snow storm, so be prepared.
- Use your defrost and defog feature if needed. This can be important to improve visibility on nights that are cold and damp. In order to get your windows defrosted as quickly as possible, you should pull in air from outside the vehicle rather than running the defroster in circulation mode. Circulation mode just circulates air that is in the car; it takes longer for windows to defog or defrost with circulation air instead of outside air.
- Remain alert. You always must be on the lookout for pedestrians, debris, animals, stalled cars and reflectors.
These tips should hopefully help you and your loved ones to avoid an accident at night. They also illustrate that those who drive drunk at night (an especially common time for drunk driving) are taking a grave risk since they will be less able to identify obstacles or respond to difficult night driving conditions. These drunk drivers are, unfortunately, likely to injure themselves or to injure others by their behavior.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Greater Boston area, contact the car accident attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers, LLC for a free consultation. Call (617) 777-7777.