Nighttime Driving Involves Higher Risk of Fatal Collisions in Georgia


January 31, 2014

The most dangerous time for those traveling in motor vehicles is after dark when the visibility of drivers is compromised by a lack of light and an increased number of drunk drivers are present on Georgia and Atlanta streets and highways.  Data from the federal agency also supports the position that the risk of being hit by a drunk driver is higher at night. While eighteen percent of fatal accidents during the day involve drunk drivers, 54 percent of deadly wrecks at night involve alcohol impaired drivers. Because nighttime driving accidents are especially common and dangerous, our Atlanta Accident Attorneys have provided answers to common questions about these types of collisions.

How is nighttime driving affected by changes in visibility and perception?

Although hearing is a valuable form of sensory data when driving, most drivers rely on their vision when making decisions while operating a motor vehicle. Many aspects of a driver's visual perception may be adversely effected at night including color recognition, depth perception, ability to distinguish objects from the background environment, peripheral vision and distance perception.

Does nighttime driving enhance the effect of other forms of unsafe driving?

The human eye relies on light so decreased vision from a lack of light will make certain types of unsafe driving practices even more dangerous, such as:

  • Driving too fast
  • Failing to allow a safe following distance
  • Multi-tasking (i.e. distracted driving)
  • Drunk driving
  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Failing to use corrective lenses with a current prescription
  • Higher number of speeding drivers at night

While nighttime driving increases the risk of a fatal car crash, collisions after dark do not just happen. They are caused by drivers who drive unsafely and/or violate traffic safety laws. The lack of illumination simply amplifies these hazardous driving practices and makes it more difficult to recover after making a mistake.

The best way to reduce nighttime driving accidents involves drivers adapting to the limitations of dim lighting and shorter periods of time to react to road hazards. This often means driving at a slower rate of speed.

How can the number of fatal nighttime crashes be reduced?

Technology may offer promise in facilitating safer driving after dark with new types of vehicle headlights. One form of technology being evaluated involves equipping vehicles with headlights that can direct light onto especially challenging or dangerous roadways. These headlights are designed to bend around curves or swivel. Another innovation that may help decrease the frequency of collisions after dark involves head lights that come with selective dimming options. The lights focus illumination on certain areas of the road to improve visibility on curves by reducing glare.

Put Our Firm's Over 30 Years Experience to Work For You!

If you or a family member is injured in a collision or a family member dies, our Atlanta auto accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.