While you may be familiar with driving at night, you may not fully understand all of the dangers associated with navigating the roadways once the sun has set. According to AAA, you are three times more likely to get involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident at night than you are during the day. There are several reasons why nighttime driving comes with increased risks. If you understand these risks, you may be able to minimize your chances of getting involved in an accident
One of the most dangerous risks at night is the lack of natural sunlight. Although the roads may be illuminated by street lamps and headlights, it is more difficult to see in the dark. For example, it is harder to judge the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles when turning into traffic at night. The dark affects central and peripheral vision and depth perception. This is especially true for drivers over the age of 50, as well as those who suffer from glaucoma and cataracts.
Headlight blindness is another occurrence that happens at night. When drivers look into the bright headlights of oncoming traffic, it can cause temporary blindness. This leaves moment in time when drivers are unable to respond quickly to certain hazards, such as animals or objects in the road, bad weather conditions, other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and crosswalks.
Other nighttime hazards include the following:
- Construction sites in operation at night
- Drunk drivers on the road
- Drowsy drivers coming home from a long day of work
While avoiding distractions while driving is always important, it is especially critical at night. Be sure to pay attention to the road and remain extremely cautious so you can respond to events that happen around you.