Auto Accidents Are More Likely When Driving at Night
By Michael Verna on June 12, 2017
The legal team at Bowles & Verna has helped countless accident and injury victims throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. We've helped clients in Oakland and the East Bay as well as in San Jose and the South Bay, offering sound legal counsel when it's needed most.
A number of cases we handle involve serious and fatal auto accidents, which should come as no surprise given the amount of traffic throughout the Bay Area. Many of these accidents occur at night. We want to take a moment to consider the dangers of driving at night and why accidents are more likely at nighttime.
Driving at Night: A Look at the Numbers
The statistics tell dangerous story.
Even though there is 60 percent less traffic at night when compared to the day, many accidents occur at nighttime. It's been estimated that 40 percent of all fatal car accident occur during nighttime hours. This is why it's so important to exercise additional caution when driving at night.
Problems with Visibility
So many actions and reactions on the road are made because of visual cues and warning signs. For instance, we slow down when a light turns red or we approach a stop sign. We also slow down in response to brake lights and objects that suddenly appear on the road. At night, objects and hazards may become obscured by the darkness, leading to delayed reaction times or late reactions.
In addition, the oncoming headlights of other vehicles can lead to serious issues with your night vision. It's possible to lose sight of other objects because of the brightness of oncoming headlights.
Increased Risk of Driver Fatigue
At night, people tend to be more tired. This is especially true during late night hours as people are trying to get home and into bed. This means that there is a higher risk of driver fatigue at night. People may be driving while drowsy, which can lead to slower reactions, poor decision making, and loss of control behind the wheel.
This is an important concern for truck drivers. Since they spend a long time hauling items on the road, they may not be getting all the rest they should. A famous and tragic case of this is a 2015 truck accident that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed his friend and collaborator James McNair. The truck driver had not slept for more than 24 hours in the lead up to the accident.
Increased Number of Drunk Drivers
In addition to drowsy drivers, there's also the danger of drunk drivers to consider. People trying to get home from bars, clubs, and concert venues may exercise poor judgment and drive while drunk. Like driver fatigue, drunk driving can lead to poor decision-making skills and slow reaction times.
Be sure to drive defensively as you're driving at night. If you're ever out with friends and notice someone is not sober, be sure to help you friend get home safely by calling a cab or having a sober friend give them a ride. Look out for others to keep everyone safe.
Speak with Our Auto Accident Lawyers
For more information about your legal options following a serious accident, be sure to contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today. The lawyers of Bowles & Verna are here to help you in your time of legal need.