What Are the Dangers of Driving at Night?

December 18, 2023
driving at night

Shorter days and longer nights affect people in more ways than one might think. They might feel and behave differently, which can increase the risk of getting into car accidents. Besides that, there is reduced visibility in the dark. It is essential to be aware of the dangers of night driving and take the proper precautions.

Nighttime driving is dangerous for many reasons, including the following:

  • Poor visibility: Drivers cannot see as far or as well at night compared to the day. This can be worse for people with visual impairments, like nearsightedness, even if they wear glasses or contact lenses. Night-time blindness is another disorder that impacts many people, affecting their ability to see in dim light.
  • Drowsy driving: Drowsiness creeps in at night as the body prepares for sleep, so it is common for fatigued drivers to be out on the roads at night. The symptoms mirror driving under the influence: slow reaction time, poor judgment, and not being able to see well.
  • Impaired drivers: Drunk driving occurs more often at night after people have left work.
  • Construction zones: Often, construction zones are inactive during the day but get busy at night after traffic slows down.

Tips for Driving Safely at Night

Preparation is key for driving safely at night. Instead of turning on the ignition and heading out, take a few minutes to protect yourself and others. Check your windshields to ensure they are clean, and clean your headlights every few weeks. Test your lights regularly, and angle your headlights so they will not be pointed too high or too low.

Two-lane highways are notorious for nighttime glare, so avoid driving on them at night whenever possible. Avoid looking directly into oncoming headlights because they can be blinding; look at the right edge of the road as a guide. If you start feeling tired behind the wheel, stop for coffee or arrange to sleep somewhere.

Speed-related crashes make up a significant percent of nighttime driving fatalities, so slow down accordingly. If you see another driver going too fast, take a breath and stay as far away as possible.

Should I Use My High Beams at Night?

High beams are helpful at night, particularly in rural areas and open roads. They can blind other drivers, so dim them as others approach. Never use high beams when following other vehicles; if you buy a new car, shop for ones with adaptive lighting systems that adjust automatically.

Dashboard lights can be distracting and disorienting at night when too bright. Dim them as needed, keeping them visible enough to see. Use your visors to block outdoor lights and glare.

Contact a Media Car Accident Lawyer at Eckell Sparks About Your Nighttime Car Accident

Even the most vigilant drivers get into car accidents at night. If that has happened to you, a skilled Media car accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help. Call 610-565-3701 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.