Driving is dangerous at any time of day, but the darker it gets, the more
likely you are to experience an accident on the road. The biggest factor
is the lack of light; as the sun retreats, it becomes harder for many
people to see in the dark, even with the help of headlights. However,
the following are the most common reasons night tends to be the most dangerous
time to drive.
Humans are naturally awake during the day and asleep at night. The presence
of sunlight even stimulates the reduction of sleep hormones, which causes
people to be more alert and awake in the morning. However, we don’t
always get enough sleep. Some people even work the night shift, disturbing
natural sleeping rhythms. Because people don’t always get enough
sleep, they often drive while they are fatigued, meaning they are exhausted
and may fall asleep behind the wheel. A National Sleep Foundation poll
found 60% of adults have driven while they were tired and another 37%
reported falling asleep while driving at least once a month. Around 4%
reported causing a crash after falling asleep at the wheel. More people
work during the day and get poor sleep at night, meaning night is more
dangerous because it’s closer to the majority of individuals'
bedtime. They’re also heading home after a long day of work, which
increases their likelihood of being sleepy and fatigued.
As it gets closer to winter, the days become much shorter. This lack of
light earlier becomes much more of a problem for people used to commuting
in brighter light. As stated earlier, people tend to have a harder time
seeing in the darkness. Depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral
vision are often compromised in the dark, and the glare from oncoming
vehicles can temporarily blind drivers. Even with high-beams on, visibility
is limited to about 500 feet ahead of the car, allowing less reaction
time for things that may stop ahead of the car.
Humans aren’t usually known for their excellent night vision. While
we can see vaguely in low-light conditions, this ability worsens over
time. For example, a 50-year-old driver might need twice as much light
to see as well as a 30-year-old in the darkness. For those in their 60s,
driving can be even more challenging, especially if they have compromised
vision as a result of cataracts or degenerative eye diseases.
Evening rush hour is usually a nightmare. Everyone is rushing home to relax
and eat dinner after a long day at work. Drivers at this time (between
4 and 7 p.m. on weekdays) tend to be more irritable and impatient and
may violate rules of the road to get home faster. In winter, darkness
is added to this dangerous after-work driving time, which increases the danger.
The last and probably most dangerous part of driving at night is the increase
in impaired drivers on the road. Nearly 30 people die in crashes every
day because of drivers impaired by alcohol, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Add to this equation the number
of drivers impaired by prescription medications and other drugs and the
number increases significantly. Impaired drivers are most often on the
road after dark, particularly from midnight to 3 a.m. (when most bars
close). Drunk driving has decreased by about 1/3 since 2007, but the number
of drivers under the influence of controlled substances has increased.
If you or your loved ones have been injured by a negligent driver, don’t
hesitate to call
Berenson & Associates. Our skilled
Albuquerque car accident attorneys have more than 15 years of experience in
personal injury. You shouldn’t have to pay for medical bills, lost wages, or property
damage if your accident was caused by the carelessness or negligence of
another party. Our founding attorney, Rachel Berenson, is uniquely qualified
to help with your case. She has certification in accident reconstruction
and has hands-on experience in litigating
drunk driving, and
texting-and-driving cases. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (505) 559-4117 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case