Motor vehicle crash statistics show that being on the road after dark is far more dangerous than driving during the day. Especially for younger, more experienced drivers, nighttime driving is a serious safety concern.
According to the National Safety Council, any time it is dark outside, your crash risk is higher than at other times during the day. Numerous factors contribute to how dangerous it is to drive at night, with the four below being the most concerning.
If you feel more anxious about driving late at night, you are far from alone. Many people feel less comfortable at the wheel of a vehicle in dark conditions than they do during the day, and for good reason.
Your ability to see around you is crucial to your safety as you travel at high speeds, and even your brights won’t make up for overhead illumination late at night. When you can’t see potholes or pedestrians well ahead of you on the road, your chance of causing a crash if you encounter one is higher.
When the bars close, many intoxicated people will have to try to find their way home. Some of them will cause crashes that hurt other people. Although you could encounter a drunk driver at any time of day, people are more likely to drink when they are done with work in the evening or to help themselves fall asleep at night, meaning your chances of encountering a drunk driver are higher after dark.
Fatigue can actually affect the body in a way very similar to alcohol. People may have a hard time making good choices at the wheel or paying attention to their surroundings. Occasionally, they may lose consciousness because of their exhaustion. As with drunk driving, exhaustion can cause collisions any time of day but tends to be a more significant concern once the sun sets.
While most animals are active during the day, there are nocturnal animals that hunt and move around late at night. There are also crepuscular animals, like dear, that tend to come out at dusk and dawn.
Whether you have a hard time seeing your surroundings or cross paths with someone drunk at the wheel, you could experience a major motor vehicle collision because of the unique safety concerns present late at night.