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3 factors that make nighttime driving quite dangerous

Driving at night tends to make people more nervous than driving during the day. There’s a very good reason for that, at least according to federal crash statistics analyzed by the National Safety Council (NSC).

A review of collision data shows that although motorists in North America only drive about a quarter of the total miles traveled each year after dark, half of the collisions that occur annually happen after the sun sets. In other words, the risk of a crash based on miles traveled is much higher after the sun sets than during the daytime. What makes nighttime travel so dangerous?

Diminished visibility

Especially in rural areas without street lights, the headlights of a vehicle may be the only light source on nights with an overcast sky or no moon. Drivers may not have much time to react when they come across debris in the road or encounter a pedestrian. Even in urban areas with adequate lighting, darker conditions tend to increase crash risk due to the impact on visibility and also on driving behavior, as motorists may not look as carefully for pedestrians or other issues due to the lower levels of traffic at night.

More drunk drivers

When the bars close for the night, everyone who has spent the evening drinking still has to get home. The overnight hours in general tend to see more drunk driving collisions and then the daytime hours. Evenings and nights near holidays or after major events like a baseball game or a concert also mean there will likely be more drunk drivers on the road after dark.

Motorist fatigue

The human body naturally wants to sleep when it is dark late at night, and therefore people often struggle to remain as alert while driving late at night. Especially if they have gone quite some time without sleep, they may have a hard time keeping their focus on the road and reacting quickly when traffic conditions change.

All of those factors and other issues, like inclement weather and animal activity, combine to make the nighttime a very dangerous time to be on the road. Regardless of when a collision occurs, the same liability rules generally apply. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim may be necessary if someone gets hurt in a late-night crash.


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