Night Driving and the Increased Risk of Auto Accidents

Aug 2, 2017 @ 09:00 AM — by Larry A. Tawwater

A blurry image of a car driving at nightThose who have lost a loved one or been seriously injured in an auto accident may be faced with medical bills, loss of income, and other related financial burdens. These victims of car accidents may find financial relief through the help of an experienced car accident attorney. At Tawwater Law Firm, we are dedicated to obtaining the maximum settlement for clients injured in auto accidents while driving at night in and around Oklahoma City, OK.

Although an accident can happen at anytime of day, nighttime driving carries more hazards that increase the risk of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), auto accidents occurring at night are three times more likely to result in fatalities than accidents occurring during the day. Let's take a closer look at the unique hazards of nighttime driving and some safety tips to reduce the risk of an accident.

Night Driving and the Increased Risk of Auto Accidents

Of course, hazards that are present during the day remain an issue at night, such as distracted driving, speeding, and not wearing a seat belt, but nighttime driving has additional hazards that increase the risk of accidents. These unique hazards include:

  • Visibility is decreased at night: Perhaps one of the most significant hazards of nighttime driving is the lack of visibility of driving when it's dark. Even a well-lit road will not have as much light, making it difficult to see road conditions, pedestrians, bicyclists, other vehicles, or road signs.
  • Drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road at night: Drunk drivers are something to be cautious of at all times of the day, but there tends to be more people driving under the influence at night. In fact, according to the NHTSA, drunk drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash at night then during the day.
  • Teen drivers may not have the experience to safely drive at night:  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teens are more likely than adults to make critical driving errors that cause serious crashes and are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations. This inexperience can be more dangerous when driving at night when visibility is low.
  • Driving while drowsy: Driving while drowsy is dangerous to yourself and others on the road. The NHTSA estimates that as many as 72,000 crashes in 2013 alone were caused by drowsy driving, resulting in 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths.

Safety Tips for Night Driving

It's importance to stay focused while driving at night as visibility is lower for yourself and other drivers. Taking extra precautions can help reduce the risk of car accidents and help keep you and your loved ones safe.

  • Don't follow too closely: Keep a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you to give yourself time and space to brake in case of an emergency. 
  • Don't drive when drowsy: Get off of the road and park somewhere safe as soon as you feel the warning signs of drowsy driving, such as yawning, blinking frequently, lane drifting, or difficulty remembering the past few miles you've driven.
  • A clean windshield can improve visibility: Poor visibility is a problem at night that can be made worse by a dirty windshield. Keeping your windshield clean helps reduce glare from traffic lights, streetlights, and other vehicles' taillights and headlights. 
  • Never drive under the influence: It's never a good decision to drive while under the influence and just one drink may be enough to impair judgment.
  • Replace burned out headlights and taillights: Headlights and taillights are essential for nighttime driving as they allow us to see and be seen. Check your car's headlights and taillights to make sure none have burned out and if one or more have, be sure to replace them immediately, especially if driving at night. 
  • Restrict your teen to daytime driving: If you have a teen, restricting him or her to only driving during the day until he or she has more driving experience can help keep your teen, and other drivers, safe from nighttime accidents.

Seek the Help of an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a car accident at night, our experienced car accident attorneys can help. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how our team can help you.

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