Nighttime Driving Poses Increased Accident Risks


May 29, 2011

Driving at night can be risky business, and many drivers do not take into account that it can present hazards that are not present during daytime driving hours.

Although it may be obvious that visibility is decreased at night, drivers still often speed and fail to account for the additional danger of driving at night. Some of the dangers that confront those driving at night include:

  • Altered depth perception due to the headlights of other cars
  • Other driver's high beams may blind drivers
  • Speeding drivers
  • Not enough space between vehicles

Despite the fact that there is 60 percent less traffic on the roads at night, more than 40 percent of all fatal car accidents occur after dark.

Our eyes have the ability to adjust for lower light situations because our pupils will dilate. However, the difficulty comes when our eyes must adapt from darkness to lightness quickly and frequently. Other challenges are created when it is twilight so it is not quite dark or not quite light yet. In this situation, our eyes are dealing with what they often call "flat" light, which also affects visibility and depth perception. This happens at sunrise and sunset hours.

Drivers who do not acknowledge or respect the additional risks associated with night driving also make roadways in the Atlanta metro area, the Interstates and the rural backroads of Georgia more dangerous. People who have been partying or out at the bars are much more likely to be driving at night. The risk posed by drowsy drivers is also more significant at night. Drivers have been known to fall asleep at the wheel or drift into other cars' lanes and cause fatal accidents.

Tips for Safe Night Driving

  • Keep your full attention on the road. Do not allow yourself to be distracted.
  • Keep your windshield and windows clean. This will limit glare from headlights.
  • Keep a safe driving distance between cars. Use your headlights as a gauge.
  • Keep any extraneous interior lights in your car turned down low. This will help improve your vision.

Teens and Night Driving

For all of the talk about teens and drunk driving, a recent study reveals that nighttime driving is the foremost risk factor for teenage drivers and poses a greater risk than drinking, speeding and failing to wear seat belts. The experts at the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), who analyzed data collected for over a decade, conducted this study. There were certain factors that contributed to the dangers:

  • Teens are inexperienced drivers
  • Teens are more prone to drowsiness because of lack of sleep
  • They are easily distracted
  • Use of a cell phone and texting have recently been added to the list

The combination of cell phone use and texting combined with driving at night is deadly. A wide variety of studies reveal that younger drivers, specifically those under age 20, represent the highest proportion of distracted drivers in fatal crashes. A quarter of teen drivers admits to texting while behind the wheel. Distraction, inexperience, and nighttime are a fatal driving accident risk.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we represent those who suffer serious injury and families of those who suffer wrongful death in Georgia motor vehicle accidents. If you have been involved in a Georgia car accident because a driver failed to follow these simple common sense driving practices, contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can help you get compensation for your injuries and loss.

Our experienced Georgia auto accident lawyers are available to assist clients 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

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