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Is Driving at Night More Dangerous?

Our Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyers at Wolterman Law Office Represent Victims of Nighttime Car Accidents

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving at night is nine times deadlier than driving during the day. Several factors make nighttime driving more dangerous, including reduced visibility. Yet, since motorists do not always consider nighttime driving as hazardous as other conditions like snow, sleet, or freezing rain, they do not always take the necessary safety precautions. As a result, while only 25 percent of driving occurs at night, approximately half of all fatal car accidents occur after dark. If you or someone you love is seriously injured in a car accident at night, do not hesitate to contact an experienced car accident lawyer.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Nighttime Car Accidents?

Most of the driving that the average motorist does is during the daytime hours. Unfortunately, the risk of serious car accidents increases as the sun goes down. The following are examples of the most common causes of car accidents that occur at night:

  • Reduced visibility: When it is dark outside, your vehicle’s headlights only illuminate up to 350 feet in front of your car, which means that you may be unable to see other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects farther ahead or to the side of your car. As a result, you have less time to react if you need to slow down or stop suddenly.
  • Compromised vision: It takes the eyes several hours to adapt to darkness. In addition, as we age, it becomes more difficult to see at night. For example, a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as a 30-year-old driver. Some older drivers also have other vision issues, like cataracts and degenerative eye diseases, that compromise vision even more.
  • Fatigue: Motorists are more likely to feel drowsy when driving at night. In extreme cases, they may fall asleep at the wheel. According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults say that they have driven while they were tired, and another 37 percent said that they have fallen asleep at the wheel. In addition, the NHTSA reported that 100,000 police-reported crashes are due to drowsy driving.
  • Impaired drivers: There are significantly more impaired drivers on the roads at night, particularly between midnight and 3 a.m. on the weekends. In addition to drunk drivers, motorists may also be driving while under the influence of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, as well as prescription opioids and over-the-counter medications that can cause drowsiness.
  • Rush hour traffic: Depending on the time of year, it may be dark during your commute to or from work. This, combined with the increased traffic, crowded roadways, and impatient drivers who may be late to work or anxious to get home, increases the risk of a severe accident, particularly if the motorist is speeding.

How Can I Avoid a Car Accident When Driving at Night?

One of the first things you can do to avoid a serious car accident at night is to recognize that driving at night is more dangerous and that you must be vigilant about taking the necessary safety precautions. The following are some effective safety tips to keep in mind when you are driving at night:

  • Be a defensive driver. In addition to the visibility issues, drinking and driving is much more prevalent at night. As a result, you are strongly urged to pay attention to other vehicles on the road and avoid other motorists who may be speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, tailgating, or engaging in other unsafe driving behaviors.
  • Avoid drowsy driving. If you drive at night between midnight and 6 a.m., ensure you are well-rested and alert. If you start feeling drowsy, roll down the window, turn on the radio, or pull over to a safe, well-lit area and rest. Do not continue driving if you start to feel extremely fatigued.
  • Reduce your speed. Speeding and drowsy driving can be a deadly combination. According to the NHTSA, 37 percent of nighttime driving fatalities are caused by speeding. Make sure that you adjust your driving speed to the conditions, including the reduced visibility.
  • Clean your windows. Dirty or damaged windshields can increase glare, making it difficult to see. Make sure that you clean your windshield and headlights regularly.
  • Avoid two-lane highways. Regarding nighttime glare, two-lane highways can be hazardous because oncoming cars often have high beams on, making it difficult to see. In addition, these roads often have more sharp curves and hills, which tend to be more hazardous, particularly at night.
  • Use your high beams appropriately. If no vehicles are approaching from the other direction, use your high beams to see more of the road ahead. Make sure that you turn your high beams off if you see another vehicle approaching, as this can cause a blinding effect.
  • Dim the interior lights. Keep the lights inside your vehicle low while driving at night. Too much bright light in the vehicle’s cabin can make it difficult to see the dark road ahead.
  • Get your eyes examined. This will ensure that your vision is checked, as well as any other conditions, such as glaucoma or dry eye, which are common in older adults.

Our Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyers at Wolterman Law Office Represent Victims of Nighttime Car Accidents

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident that occurred at night, do not hesitate to contact our Cincinnati car accident lawyers at Wolterman Law Office. We will protect your legal rights throughout the claims process and pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 513-488-1135 or contact us online. Our office is located in Loveland, Ohio, and we serve clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.