The statistics are clear, so let’s cut right to the chase: Night driving is definitely more dangerous than driving in the daylight hours. While people only do about 25% of their driving in the dark, that’s when 50% of accident-related deaths happen.
What exactly makes night driving so perilous? It’s actually a combination of factors.
Even the best high-beam headlights on the market will only give you about 500 feet worth of visibility on the road, and regular headlights give you only about half of that. That means if you see something amiss in the road, you have far less time to take evasive action.
The older you get, the poorer your night vision becomes. Older drivers often suffer from refraction issues that make it very difficult to see through the glare of streetlights, headlights and traffic signals. Drivers can even get turned around pretty easily in the dark and end up mistaking off-ramps for on-ramps, leading to wrong-way collisions.
Daylight Savings changes
The human body follows a natural sleep-wake cycle that is deeply affected by changes in light. Every time Daylight Savings Time changes, the number of car wrecks goes up thanks to the disruption in drivers’ sleep schedules.
In general, you’re more likely to encounter a drowsy driver after dark than you are in the middle of the day – simply because the dark and the monotony of the road can combine to lull drivers into falling asleep behind the wheel.
There’s something about the evening hours, the lack of traffic and the anonymity of the road that can turn a mild-mannered human into an outrageously aggressive driver. In their haste, some people will recklessly change lanes, speed and tailgate – all of which increases the chance of a wreck.
Drunk driving is also more common after dark, simply because that’s when restaurants and bars are the busiest. The closer you get to “closing time,” at the bars, the more likely you’re going to encounter an impaired driver somewhere out there.
Whatever the cause, if you’re involved in a wreck after dark, find out more about your right to fair compensation from the liable party. You may be entitled to far more compensation than you’ve allowed yourself to hope for.