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Examining the dangers of nighttime driving


A number of factors lead to an increased risk of getting into a car accident at night as opposed to during the day.

When the sun sets in New Jersey, there are still many vehicles traveling along the state’s network of roadways. Whether people are coming home from work, finishing up their daily errands or running to meet friends for a drink, the streets are still alive at night. What some people may not realize, however, is that the risk of being involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident increases by three times when driving at night as opposed to driving during the daylight hours, according to the National Safety Council. Elderly drivers with limited visual abilities and inexperienced teen drivers can also be hazardous to nighttime drivers. What other factors make driving at night more dangerous than during while the sun is still up?

Driving in the dark

The lack of natural light may be one of the biggest reasons why it is riskier to drive at night. Also, referred to as night blindness, many peoples’ eyes simply cannot see as well at night. Not only is peripheral vision compromised, but depth perception and speed can also be hard to judge without natural light. For example, when people are turning out into traffic, it is difficult to judge the distance, placement and speed of oncoming vehicles. This may result in a car turning out in front of another vehicle without realizing how close they are. Furthermore, as people age, their eyes need more light to be able to see. With the addition of headlight glare, bad road conditions and negligent motorists, driving at night can be hazardous.

Drowsy and distracted drivers

In addition to lack of light, there are a greater number of drowsy drivers at night than there are during the day. People may be pulling an all-night road trip or traveling home from a long day’s work. A void of light naturally makes people feel drowsy and fatigued, and when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle, it may be a struggle to stay awake and keep focused on the road ahead. Just as people like to use their cellphones while driving during the day, they may also attempt to read emails, compose texts and engage in conversation while navigating the road at night. This, combined with drowsiness and lack of light, may have disastrous results.

Legal counseling may be necessary

If you have been involved in a car accident, and have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of another driver’s careless behavior, you may want to seek counsel from a personal injury attorney in New Jersey. A lawyer may be helpful in answering your questions and looking at your legal options when it comes to getting compensation for your injuries, property damage and emotional trauma.