As a California motorist, you know first-hand that traffic does not cease once the sun has set. Even in the nighttime hours, people are rushing home from work, going to work or just leaving for a night out on the town. While you may be used to driving at night, you may not realize the increased danger of becoming involved in an accident. According to the National Safety Council, you are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly accident at night than you are during the day. Why is there an increased danger and what can you do to minimize your risk of getting into an accident?
The lack of natural light is the most common reason why people get into nighttime accidents. Decreased visibility makes it more difficult to see objects in the road, traffic signs, pedestrians, bicyclists and animals. You may experience a delayed response time to these things, as you may be unable to see them clearly. The lack of light can also affect your depth perception. When turning out into traffic, it can be hard to judge the distance of an oncoming vehicle, as well as how fast it is going. Rather than pull out into traffic, wait until you are sure it is safe.
Night blindness is a condition, and it is especially common in older drivers. A 50-year old motorist requires twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. Bright headlights can also cause temporary blindness, making it hard to see.
In addition to low light levels, there is an increased number of drunk drivers on the road at night. When driving at night, it is critical that you remain cautious and drive defensively.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.