Cars are more technologically advanced and have more safety features than ever before. Forward collision warning systems, blind spot monitoring systems, and lane change assist technology have became standard features on many makes and models. Yet even with all of the advanced safety technology, driving is as dangerous as ever.
Teens and adults all have a cell phones and, according to statistics, more and more people are using those devices while they’re driving. Even on a day filled with bright sunshine and clear skies, driving is dangerous when another driver checks his cell phone or texts while on the road. But nighttime driving is the most dangerous time to drive.
While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic fatalities from car accidents happen at night. In 2016, over 40,000 people were killed in car crashes at night and in the early morning hours before dawn. Even on familiar roads near our homes, driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day.
Night Driving and Safety Issues
According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatality rates are up to three times greater at night than during the day. There are a number of factors that make nighttime driving so difficult, especially for those who have poor “night vision.”
Night vision is the ability to see well in low-light conditions, and as we get older, seeing at night becomes more difficult. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old, and when a driver reaches age 60, driving becomes even more difficult according to the American Optometric Association because these older drivers may have compromised vision due to cataracts and degenerative eye diseases.
Driving at night is more dangerous because 90% of a driver’s reaction depends on vision, and vision is severely limited at night. Not only do you have no sunlight to help you see, but you have the glare of headlights, street lights, and maybe even wet pavement to contend with after dusk.
Drowsy driving is another issue that arises when people drive at night. A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) supports those numbers in a report from 2016 that indicates 100,000 of police-reported crashes were a result of driver fatigue. Also, the report shows that most of these crashes took place at times you would expect drivers to be drowsy: 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. and midnight to 2:00 a.m.
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know that at the very least it’s a stressful experience, and at the very worst, it’s a horrifying experience that you may never forget. Depending on the severity of the accident(s) you’ve been involved in, you may have dealt with only minor bumps and bruises on your body and small dents on your car, or you may have totaled a vehicle and spent some time in a hospital or recovering at home for several days, weeks, or months.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in a car accident, please contact an experienced car accident attorney in your area today to schedule a free consultation.