Statistics compiled and analyzed by the National Safety Council indicate that the majority of traffic accidents occur in the evening hours and after dark.
Learn to recognize the nighttime driving conditions that increase your safety risks so you can adjust your driving habits accordingly.
Visibility is at its lowest after sunset. Headlights, even on high beams, provide a limited range of illumination. Streetlights and the headlights of oncoming cars can also produce glare. Inclement weather can further affect visibility at night. For example, the surface of a wet roadway intensifies the glare of headlights.
Fatigue is common when driving at night because the darkness triggers your body’s melatonin production. Natural sleep cycles include waking during daylight hours and sleeping after dark, driven by the body’s circadian rhythm. Driving at night disrupts this and can lead to drowsy, fatigued driving.
While the lights of business signs may not seem bright during the day, they stand out sharply against the dark at night. This can distract your eye, drawing your attention to the bright light and away from the road.
Poor decisions are more common at night. This is partially because drivers expect less traffic on the road when it gets late, so they are not as attentive. This complacency can lead to accidents. Additionally, you are more likely to encounter drunk drivers at night.
Safety is important on the road at all times of the day, but nighttime hours require extra attention and caution. Consider your visibility, restfulness and attention before traveling at night.