Limited visibility. Dangerous terrain. Unseen animals. Compromised vision. Impaired drivers. Those are just a few of the dangers we face when we drive at night. While it may be impossible to avoid driving in the dark all the time, it’s smart to keep it to a minimum if you want to prevent a possible car accident and personal injury.
Here’s what you need to know.
Why You Shouldn’t Drive at Night: 3 Important Wreck Statistics to Know
Whether you drive at night all the time or try to avoid it as much as possible, here are three sobering statistics to know:
1. 50% of traffic fatalities happen at night
While people only do ¼ of their total driving at night, more than 50% of traffic deaths occur at night. Even if the road is familiar, driving at night is always more dangerous.
2. Impaired driving is more common at night
According to a survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the prevalence of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) increases among drivers on weekend nights. It’s up a stunning 48% since 2007.
Additionally, drunk driving rates increase during the nighttime hours. It is especially common between midnight and 3 a.m. on weekend nights.
3. Fatigue is a real risk
According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 60% of adults have driven while they were tired. Alarmingly, 103 million people also report having fallen asleep at the wheel. Even worse – 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% have caused a car accident by falling asleep while driving. As you may imagine, most of these accidents happen at night – between midnight and 2 a.m.
How to Stay Safe When you Drive at Night
Can’t avoid getting in the car after dark? Minimize your risk of a wreck with these smart tips:
- Prioritize sleep. Losing even two hours of sleep a night has the same effect on a driver as having three beers. Fatigued drivers are three times more likely to be in an accident than their well-rested counterparts. With this in mind, aim to get seven hours of restful sleep each night.
- Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 16 hours or more. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), “Driving after going more than 20 hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% – the U.S. legal limit.”
- Slow down. Decreasing your speed by even 5-10 mph can help compensate for reduced stopping time and limited visibility.
- Aim your headlights correctly. Have them serviced frequently to make sure they’re clean and provide ample light.
Ward & Barnes: Your Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve experienced injuries from a car accident during nighttime driving, Ward & Barnes, P.A. is here for you. A dedicated firm of personal injury attorneys, we represent people suffering from car accidents and more. We’ll represent you and make sure you receive all available insurance proceeds to help you get the settlement you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about our services or how we can help you.