While you may be familiar with navigating the roadways at night, you may be unaware of the potential dangers you face while doing so. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more deadly accidents occur at night, with the number of fatalities peaking on Saturdays.
It is important to understand these dangers so you can take proper precautions and minimize your risk of getting into a serious accident.
Lack of light vs. too much light
The obvious lack of natural sunlight is one of the biggest issues to deal with while driving at night. Even with street lights illuminating the roadways, low natural light conditions can impact your peripheral vision and ability to react to certain situations. When turning out into traffic at night, you may have trouble determining the speed and distance of oncoming traffic.
Furthermore, headlight blindness can lead to accidents. When drivers look directly into bright headlights, they may experience a temporary blindness for several seconds afterward. This can make it impossible to navigate the roadways afterward for a period of time.
The National Safety Council warns that drivers 50-years and older need nearly twice as much light as a 30-year old driver. As your eyes age, you may encounter vision problems that can also make it harder to see in the dark.
Drunk and drowsy drivers
In addition to bad lighting, there are more drunk and drowsy drivers on the road at night as well. Whether traveling home from the bar or rushing home after a long day at work, driving is difficult for those who are not fully alert and aware of their surroundings.
In order to maximize your safety and minimize your risk of getting involved in a car accident, it is critical to remain focused while driving, especially at night. Avoid all distractions, such as using your cellphone, talking to other passengers and driving if you are too tired.