Now that the fall season has arrived and winter is just around the corner, the sun will start to set earlier and earlier, resulting in shorter days and more time spent driving at night. However, driving in the evenings presents specific hazards that may result in accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.
The National Safety Council (NSC) states that the first of a deadly collision is three times greater after sundown. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), nearly half of all car accidents happen at night.
The most common dangers when driving in the evenings include:
- Reduced visibility – It is obvious that the lack of sun makes it more difficult to see at night. Drivers often miss seeing road signs, other vehicles, pedestrians, and even animals. Decreased visibility can also compromise properly gauging distances, failing to anticipate unexpected situations on the road in time. Lastly, the older we get, the harder it is to see when it’s dark outside. If you are having trouble seeing while driving in the evening, drive at slow speeds to allow yourself more space and time to react to road conditions. For elderly drivers, have your vision checked every year.
- Intoxicated drivers – Alcohol, drugs, and even prescription medication can reduce a driver’s reaction time and the ability to avoid accidents. The worst time of the week for drunk drivers is between midnight and 3 a.m. on the weekends. Avoid getting behind the wheel while intoxicated by finding alternative modes of transportation, such as public transportation or ridesharing services. If you are driving through an area that is known for its active nightlife, stay vigilant and expect the unexpected from surrounding motorists.
- Falling asleep at the wheel – Whether it’s because of a busy day at work or failing to get enough sleep the night before, many drivers suffer from fatigue on the road. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving since your reaction time is significantly decreased to react properly to road conditions. If you are too tired to drive, find a legal and safe place to park to take a quick nap.
- Rush hour – Although rush hour can be troublesome when the sun is still shining, it is even worse now that the sun goes down sooner. Since frustrated drivers tend to drive aggressively when they experience stop-and-go crawl of traffic, it is not the time to zone out or check your cell phone notifications. When driving during rush hour, remain patient and avoid any distractions.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver in Nassau County, our skilled legal team at Foley Griffin, LLP are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact us for a free consultation today.