Despite doing only a quarter of our driving during the evenings, about 50% of car accident deaths occur at night. The risk of a fatal auto collision is three times greater when it is dark outside, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
The following are the common reasons why nighttime is the most dangerous time of the day to drive:
- It is completely dark! During the fall and winter seasons, many people find themselves driving more at night. Although we can see well in low-light conditions, it becomes more difficult to see the older you get. A person who is 50 or 60 years of age may need twice as much light to see than a 30-year old individual.
- Your vision can be compromised. Depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision are jeopardized at night. In addition, the glare from headlights can blind a driver temporarily, which can result in a collision.
- Nighttime makes you sleepy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adults have operated their vehicle while they were fatigued and another 37% have fallen asleep at the wheel. Based on a 2016 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 100,000 auto accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.
- Drunk driving occurs more frequently at night. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drug are usually on the road at night, specifically between the hours of midnight and 3 am on the weekends.