If you are like many other drivers in California, you are not always in for the night once the sun goes down. Many drivers may be coming home from work, headed to work, running errands or simply going out for a night on the town. Yet, once the sun sets in California, the risk of being involved in a deadly car accident increases. According to AAA, you are three times more likely of becoming fatally injured in a car accident at night than you are during the day. What accounts for this increased risk and what can you do to minimize your chances of becoming injured or killed?
The lack of natural light is the biggest contributor to the added dangers of driving at night. Not only does the dim light make it harder to spot hazards in the road and deal with bad weather conditions, but it also affects your eyes and the way you are able to see. It is harder to judge the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles in the dark, as the lack of light limits depth perception and peripheral vision. This is especially true for older drivers, as they require even more light to see clearly than younger drivers.
Headlight blindness can also make it hard to see. Staring directly into oncoming headlights can cause temporary blindness, which can inhibit your vision for several seconds afterwards. Furthermore, there are more drunk drivers at night than there are during the day. It is important that you stay cautious and never engage in any distractive activities, such as texting or talking on a cellphone, while driving, especially during nighttime hours.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.