It was well past midnight by the time you got out of work, and the rain was coming down in sheets. After about five minutes searching through the wall of water, you finally saw your car and made a dash for it. You were absolutely soaked by the time you managed to get inside, but at least you were one step closer to getting home.
Since you could barely see ten feet in front of you, you decided to avoid the chaos of 66 altogether and take the back roads of Winchester instead. You figured there would be fewer vehicles to avoid and speeds wouldn’t be an issue. Your assumption was correct—right up until you took the curve by Dodson Lane.
As you approached the turn, the rain somehow managed to get worse, so you slowed way down and tried to focus between the streams of water. All of a sudden, a bright light rounded the turn from the other direction. Although you assumed the glare was the high beams of an approaching car, the light was infinitely magnified as it reflected off the wet sheen of the road and every single water droplet you were attempting to focus through. Needless to say, you were instantly blinded.
You immediately slammed on your brakes, but with the road being as slippery as it was, you skidded straight toward the source of your agony, and collided head-on into a pickup truck.
The only thing you could think of as you crawled out of your seat was why in blazes did this guy have his brights on in the middle of a turn in a torrential downpour? Was he trying to get killed?
What You Risk When You Misuse Your Brights
At some point in their lives, everyone driver has had (or will have) to drive after the sun goes down. Unfortunately, during those times, you will have a 50 percent greater chance of getting into an accident, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. To further these frightening odds, data taken from the Department of Transportation estimates that 85 percent of drivers misuse their high beams at some point. The result: dangerous situations that magnify the risks for blinding accidents in poor nighttime visibility collisions.
If you’re not 100 percent sure of how to use your high beam headlights, leave them off. Otherwise, you could cause one of these following roadway dangers:
- Decreasing your own visibility. When you use your brights in poor weather such as fog or rain, the light can actually reflect off of water particles, making it harder to see oncoming traffic, animals, and pedestrians.
- Blinding oncoming traffic. If you fail to turn your high beams off when cars approach you, the light can temporarily blind the drivers and cause them to swerve into traffic. This may include swerving into your vehicle!
- Misjudging distance. High beams are designed to illuminate farther than normal lights. However, if you forget that they’re on, or use them on hills and turns, they can cause you to misjudge the distance in front of your vehicle. Not only can this cause delayed braking accidents, but it can also cause intersection and turning collisions.
- Increasing road rage. Having your brights on while driving behind someone isn’t only rude, but it can also blind, distract, annoy, and infuriate him to the point where he may take dangerous and deliberate actions to retaliate. The other driver may slam on his brakes, speed to get away from you, or even confront you.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
High beams are meant to help aid visibility during poorly lit circumstances. However, if you don’t know the proper situations in which to use them, or other drivers are oblivious to the times when they shouldn’t be using them, tragic accidents can result. Don’t allow a simple lightbulb to ruin your future; be aware of your high beam use, and take proper precautions when approaching others who are misusing their headlights, to prevent tragic and possibly fatal accidents.
Already been injured? Feel as though your injuries have left you in the dark? Contact us today for a free consultation and to get more information about how our experience can help light your way to the settlement you deserve. We’re waiting to help you, so call now!
Make sure your family and friends are aware of the dangerous consequences of high beam misuse. Use your social media to share this page with them via Facebook. What they don’t know could hurt them, but you can make sure they know their risks before it’s too late.