As low lighting impairs a motorist’s ability to see clearly, night driving represents one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. Drivers can easily become confused or disoriented by darkness obscuring objects, combined with vehicle headlights or taillights and street lamps. If you get behind the wheel at night, you need to understand the risks of night driving and what steps you can take to help keep yourself safe out on the road.
Nighttime Motor Vehicle Accident Stats
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1.039 million crashes occurred nationwide between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. in 2019. This is out of a total of approximately 6.7 million motor vehicle accidents throughout the U.S. These numbers compare to other times of the day, such as approximately 937,000 crashes during the morning rush hour period of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 1.66 million accidents during the afternoon rush hour of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., when there are considerably more vehicles on the road than during the nighttime hours.
Dangers of Night Driving
In addition to limiting visibility for motorists, night driving poses other risks for everyone on the road. One serious risk during nighttime driving is the presence of drunk drivers on the road. Motorists are far more likely to be intoxicated during the late-night and early morning hours headed home from dinner at a restaurant or drinking at a bar or a club. As difficult as night driving already is for a sober driver, intoxicated drivers pose an extreme risk out on the road.
Nighttime driving also means an increase of drowsy or fatigued drivers. Humans naturally sleep at night, so drivers out on the road during nighttime hours can feel drowsy, fatigued, or sleepy. This can impair a driver’s reaction times and perception, or cause them to fall asleep or engage in microsleep, or nodding off.
Safety Tips for Night Driving
If you have to drive at night, you should remember the following tips to help prevent you from causing or getting into a car accident:
- Travel slowly and leave extra distance for stopping. Low beams typically allow you to see about 200 feet in front of your vehicle, while high beams can provide vision for up to 500 feet. You should always make sure that your vehicle is capable of coming to a complete stop in that distance.
- Keep your dashboard or vehicle interior lights at a lower setting. Having extra glare from your console or infotainment system can impair your vision. You should turn your gauge lights to a lower setting and consider turning down the brightness or turning off your infotainment screen.
- Remember to keep your windshield and windows clean. Having dirty windows can enhance the distracting glare of vehicle headlights.
- Limit your distractions while behind the wheel. Avoid texting while driving, eating or drinking, or adjusting the radio or climate control.
- If you feel groggy or fatigued, pull over into a rest stop or parking lot for a short nap, which can provide you with much more energy than a coffee or turning the radio up loud.
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at CourtLaw represent clients injured because of car accidents in Hoboken, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, East Orange, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 442-5900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, Roselle, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Linden, Newark, Paterson, South Amboy, Trenton.
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