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The Dangers of Nighttime Driving

car lights at night

Even the most experienced drivers should always take extra precautions when driving while the sun is down. While only 25% of driving is done at night, 50% of accidents occur during this time period.

Shorter days, compromised vision, driver fatigue, and more intoxicated drivers on the road can create a recipe for disaster. Below, we discuss how each of these factors plays a role in an increase in nighttime car accidents and how you can stay safe at any hour.

Poor Visibility and Compromised Vision

During night hours, it’s inherently more difficult to see because there is less light. This impacts a driver’s depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision; glares from other vehicles’ headlights can also temporarily blind drivers.

Additionally, vision naturally decreases as we age. Data from the National Safety Council (NCS) shows that a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light as a 30-year-old to have the same level of vision quality.

What can you do to combat darkness and reduced visibility?

  • Make sure your windshield and windows are clean

  • Aim your headlights correctly

  • Dim your dashboard lights

  • Minimize distractions

  • If needed, wear eyeglasses with anti-reflective lenses

  • Reduce your speed to compensate for reduced stopping time and distance

Drowsy Driving

When the sun goes down, your body naturally begins producing more melatonin, the hormone that regulates your body’s internal clock and sleep cycle. This is why we get tired when the sun goes down!

A poll from the National Sleep Foundation revealed that 37% of participants, or 103 million people, admitted to falling asleep at the wheel before.

What can you do to combat driver fatigue?

  • Consistently get at least seven hours of sleep a night

  • Do not drive if you have been awake for more than 16 hours

  • If you’re driving long periods at night, stop for a rest break every two hours

  • Pull off the road and take a nap if you are feeling drowsy

  • If possible, travel during daylight hours or periods when you’re normally awake

Intoxicated Drivers

Drunk driving is one of the most common causes of fatal car crashes. Additional data from the NSC states that the highest number of drunk drivers are on the road between midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends.

What can you do to combat the dangers posed by drunk drivers?

  • Always drive sober; never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol

  • Designate a sober driver if you will be out with others

  • Use Uber, Lyft, or another ride service as an alternative

  • Know the signs of possible intoxicated drivers to look out for

  • Call local law enforcement and report

We hope that all the information provided in this blog helps you to stay safe while you’re traveling at night. If you are injured by a drowsy, impaired, or otherwise negligent driver, the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley is standing by ready to review your case for free and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.

Contact our firm at (530) 413-0245 to learn more about your legal options today!

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