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The hazards of nighttime driving: What you should know

| Mar 3, 2020 | Firm News

Even after the sun sets in Ohio, vehicles still fill the roadways. Whether traveling home from work, running errands or going out to have dinner with your friends, you may have to navigate the roads at night. 

According to AAA, drivers are three times more likely to die in a car accident at night than they are during the day. The risk is even more prevalent on the weekends, where the rate of deadly accidents peak on Saturday nights, according to the National Safety Council. What causes this increased danger and what can you do to protect yourself from this risk? 

One of the biggest dangers of driving at night stems from a lack of natural sunlight. Despite illumination from headlights and street lamps, a lack of natural sunlight affects drivers’ depth perception, peripheral vision and ability to decipher colors. This is especially true for drivers over the age of 50 years, as they require at least twice as much light to see when compared to younger motorists. Elderly drivers may also suffer from conditions that affect their eyesight, such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. For example, drivers making a right-hand or left-hand turn into traffic may have difficulties judging the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles. It is safest to wait for all vehicles to pass before making the turn. 

An increased number of drowsy drivers on the road at night is also a problem. A surprising number of motorists admit to falling asleep behind the wheel on certain occasions. Intoxication, distractions and road rage also add to increased risks of car accidents. 

If you drive at night, consider the following: 

  • Make sure headlights work properly 
  • Avoid any distractions while driving 
  • Keep eyes on the road at all time 
  • Be on the lookout for increased construction zone activity 
  • Get plenty of rest or avoid driving if tired 

Remaining cautious while driving at night may help prevent a deadly car accident.