As the Days Get Shorter, Driving Becomes More Dangerous

As the earth tilts away from the sun, the nights start sooner than they usually would.  That means the days get shorter. Shorter days result from sun rays traveling long distances through the atmosphere to reach the earth. 

Long nights come with an increase in the risks involved in driving. These risks could land you in an accident, after which you may need legal services, for which you can Click here.

Even though a quarter of our driving occurs at night, fatalities reported at night are three times more than those reported during the day. That is according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

But what makes night driving so dangerous?  

The Dangers of Night Driving  

You need to note that under cover of darkness, the day-to-day driving risks become more dangerous. Some factors that cause night accidents can easily be avoided during the day.  

Here are the factors that make matters worse when there is no light:  

Reduced Visibility    

Your vision at night is very crucial. It accounts for nearly 90 percent of your expected reactions while driving. At night, it becomes more difficult for a driver to see pedestrians, road signs, other drivers, animals, and obstacles. Night drives depend on street lights and headlights, which are less reliable than natural light. As a driver, you may need to judge the distance between your car and another properly.   

Rush Hour  

Generally, there are better times to drive than rush hour. Rush hour is when drivers are stressed as they cannot maneuver. Some may unexpectedly stop or change lanes causing accidents. It becomes worse when the days are shorter. The rush hour gets more dangerous when in bumper-to-bumper or stop-and-go traffic.   

Age Factors  

One of the challenges of aging is that our night vision deteriorates. When some drivers grow older, their eyes develop degenerative eye diseases and cataracts, which makes driving risky for them and other road users.   

Fatigue Driving and Drowsiness  

Sleep deprivation is a significant cause of road accidents, which worsens at night. With drowsiness and fatigue, the driver’s reaction time is less, which is dangerous.   

Night Blindness  

Drivers suffering from night blindness cannot see in poor light or at night. This condition has symptoms like: 

  • Peripheral vision,  
  • Loss of central vision   
  • Poor vision at night.    

Such drivers on the road put other road users at high risk. As a driver, your eyes must be functioning correctly, but a fellow driver with night blindness could land you in trouble.

Construction Activity  

Most of the time, road construction happens in the evening. When there is no natural light, drivers may not identify construction zones. Also, construction workers use bright work lights, which often blind drivers.   

Distracted Drivers  

The distractions are anything that gets the driver’s hands off the steering wheel or their eyes off the road. Many accidents are caused by drivers distracted by their phones while driving. That happens all the time, and it gets worse at night.    

Driving Under the Influence  

You will find impaired drivers mainly on the weekends from around 3:00 am. These are people leaving entertainment joints. They are more likely to cause fatal night accidents because most drivers are at high speeds. Sharing the road with such people is extremely dangerous.   

As a driver, you can avoid these accidents. Read on to find out how.   

Tips for Roads Safety When Driving at Night  

  • When you have long drives, it is essential to take breaks.   
  • Only drive a car if the brake lights and headlights work properly.   
  • Make proper use of the high beams so you don’t blind the other drivers.   
  • Always use clean headlights and aim them correctly.   
  • Ensure you turn your headlights on one hour before sunset to ensure the other drivers see you at dusk.   
  • Stay away from drivers that swerve or drift while driving.   
  • Ensure more space between you and the car in front of you.   
  • Know when to pull over and go to a safe place to nap or sleep.   
  • Drive with dim dashboard lights to prevent them from causing a nighttime glare on the windshield.  

Bottom Line  

Some drivers opt to avoid driving at night. They understand that the glare is too much. However, due to the demands of life, sometimes it takes effort to avoid driving.   

Life presents a lot of unforeseen situations that demand that we drive at night. Sickness, for instance, can get you going late at night. In such cases, you don’t have to worry. All you need to do is to adhere to the guidelines outlined above, and you will be safe.

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