For the most part, drivers understand how to adjust their driving based off the weather.
Seasons change, climates change, road conditions change. However, seasonal differences are far from the only external factor, which should alter a driver’s perception of the streets. There is an often-underappreciated aspect of Mother Nature, which arguably has more influence than the climate on driving. This aspect is the time of day.
It is exceedingly important to recognize the difference between driving in the daylight and driving in the dark. To sum up the difference, despite there being 60% less road traffic at night, 40% of fatal accidents occur during this time of day. Night driving is abundantly more dangerous and it’s vital to understand why.
Amplified Hazards When Driving at Night
Its not that night driving magically creates more dangers, rather it’s that the normal everyday perils of normal driving become more pronounced. For example, animal crossings are always a risk for drivers regardless of the time of day. However, animal activity increases dramatically in the later hours, making it more likely that a negligent driver will cause a collision with an animal.
Most importantly, the nighttime reduces the visibility level of drivers. Intuitively, if you can’t see the road as clearly, then driving becomes much more dangerous. With reduced visibility, it’s more difficult to avoid both moving and stationary hazards. Worse still, with less people on the road, drivers start to feel a false sense of security. They become ignorant of imminent dangers and begin to drive recklessly.
How to Adjust to Nighttime Driving
The qualms of nighttime dangers are very real and need to be considered before getting on the road. Fortunately, following these tips can help quell your fears:
- Always use headlights. In the reduced visibility of the nighttime, it is vital to be able to see as much of the road as you possibly can. Always have your headlights turned on so you can be as prepared as possible to avoid upcoming dangers.
- Slow down. As noted previously, hazards become much more pronounced in the nighttime. Don’t let the presence of less drivers on the road fool you – the risk for an accident is much greater during the latter half of the day. Slow down and proceed carefully at all times.
- Respect the law. It’s tempting to think that less of a police presence at night means that you can run stop signs and red lights. First of all, that’s not true. Second of all, for the sake of your own moral sanctity, follow the law.
- Keep both eyes open. Your circadian rhythms are in full effect in the night. In your rush to get home and sleep, remember to not put your life at risk. If you feel sleepy, then pull over and take a nap. Lowered visibility levels already make seeing the toad more difficult – your drowsiness should not.
As long as you follow the basic rules of the road, night driving shouldn’t be an issue for you! For younger, inexperienced drivers, nighttime driving should be reduced unless there is an experienced driver in the vehicle with them. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an automobile accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact my office immediately.
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Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373