Does Night Driving Increase the Chances of a Car Accident?
Drivers have a new challenge to face once daylight saving time (DST) ends and darkness begins an hour earlier. Nighttime glare from headlights and reduced visibility make driving more hazardous, but the extra hour lengthens that danger zone. How does night driving increase the chances of a car accident?
Several organizations have reported on the dangers of night driving:
- The National Safety Council reports that the chances of a fatal crash are three times higher at night than in the daytime.
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety asserts that the likeliest time of day for traffic fatalities is 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Shorter days mean more drivers are out after sunset and before the sun rises, whether commuting to work or going elsewhere. This applies to evening rush hours when more vehicles are on the roads. Low lighting can be challenging for older drivers who cannot see in dimness and darkness; a driver over age 50 might need two to three times as much light as someone younger.
Nighttime driving is also riskier at any time of year because drivers might be more fatigued at the end of the day. There are also increased numbers of drivers under the influence at night so it is essential to be extra careful after midnight; this is when many people leave clubs and bars.
Construction zones are another risk with nighttime driving. Many are active at this time instead of the day because there is less traffic. Yet, it can be more challenging for motorists to see the signs directing them to slow down or follow new traffic patterns.
Reducing the Risks of Nighttime Driving
Preparing ahead of time can help you stay safer when driving at night. Ensure that your front and back lights are working properly, and clean your headlights periodically. Use them an hour before the sun starts to set since roads start to darken at that time.
Aim your headlights properly to illuminate the road ahead, and do not blind other drivers with your high beams. Dimming the dashboard lights is also helpful because they can cause glare on windshields.
Driving slower at night is also good since reduced visibility increases driver reaction time. Speeding contributes to the severity of accidents and injuries, with an increased likelihood of fatalities. Increase the amount of space around other vehicles, too. Avoid other cars drifting or swerving –red flags that the driver is distracted or intoxicated. Limit your distractions, too, by putting your phone on Do Not Disturb mode.
Finally, always wear your seat belt, whether a driver or passenger, no matter what time of day or night.
Our Alexandria Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Can Provide Legal Advice
If you were injured in a nighttime accident, contact our experienced Alexandria car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Complete our online form or call us at 202-331-1963 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, and Falls Church, Virginia, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.