Did you know that fatal accident rates tend to increase at night? The National Safety Council notes that Saturday night is a peak time for deadly crashes.
But what is it about the night that makes it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and others? Why is it that fatal accident rates tend to rise when the sun goes down?
A lack of visibility
Perhaps the most obvious reason, though it still warrants noting, is lack of visibility. It’s simply harder to see, and so people overlook all sorts of details that they would see during the day. Many runners are told to wear LED vests or headlamps, for instance, because they may be virtually invisible to drivers.
A higher rate of drunk-driving
Additionally, drunk driving rates may increase at night. This isn’t to say that people don’t pass away in DUI accidents at all hours of the day, but general drinking habits in the United States show that people tend to drink more in the evenings and that a lot of people who go out to drink then wind up trying to drive home after dark.
Finally, as drivers get more fatigued and exhausted, they are more prone to mistakes and errors. This can be exaggerated if they’ve had anything to drink. But even if they haven’t, they may be at risk of nodding off or reacting slowly to events unfolding before them.
Have you been injured or lost a loved one?
There is a greater risk if you drive after dark. That much is clear. If you have lost a loved one in one of these crashes or if you’ve suffered serious injuries yourself, you need to know what legal steps to take.