While you may be familiar with navigating the roadways after the sun has set, you may not be fully aware of the dangers of driving at night. According to AAA, you are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly car accident at night than you are during the day. What accounts for this increased danger?

Although the road may be lit with artificial light from street lamps and headlights, the lack of natural light takes a toll on your ability to see clearly. Not only does the darkness affect depth perception, it also decreases drivers’ peripheral vision and central vision. This makes it difficult to judge the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles, for example, when turning into traffic.

The darkness is especially hard for drivers over the age of 60, as they need three times the amount of light to see clearly. Older drivers are also more likely to suffer from other eye disorders, including glaucoma and cataracts.

In addition to poor lighting, there are more drunk drivers on the road at night. People may be traveling home after having a few drinks may have a blood alcohol content level that affects their response time, ability to see clearly and make judgement calls while driving.

There are things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming involved in a nighttime accident,including the following:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Remain extra cautious when pulling out into traffic
  • Avoid looking directly into oncoming headlights

Furthermore, remember to put away all distractions while driving, such as cell phones. Keep your full attention on the road at all times.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.