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The Marceaux Law Firm

Driving Risks Differ at Night

It’s 9:00 p.m. You’ve just worked an extremely long 12-hour day and all you want to do is get home quickly and crawl into bed. You fall in behind the wheel, buckle yourself in, and begin your 20-minute ride home. You’re so tired that you don’t even realize that you haven’t turned on your lights and chalk the dimness of the day time lights on the fact that you’re tired. To try to wake-up a bit, you decide to turn on the radio for a distraction. As you approach the crosswalk at Hollyhill, you stop for a second in order to find the right station. Once you have a good song you take your foot of the brake and gun it across the apparently empty intersection.

Suddenly, you hear a loud thump and your car rocks as you run over something fairly large. You stop the car and look back into the night.

What could it possibly be? No one was around...the intersection was clear. Or was it?

Dark Driving Distractions

Driving is one of the most underrated dangers you face on a daily basis; distractions, road rage, construction, and the poor decisions of others can turn a short drive into a stressful mess. But add the hazards of driving partially blind in the dark, the increase of bad driving decisions, and dangerously dressed pedestrians to the already stressful risks—and you have a disaster just waiting to happen. The following are a few factors that could affect your driving:

  • Poor driving visibility – Glares from bright sunsets, sunrises, and street lamps can cause poor visibility or even temporary blindness. Rain and fog, coupled with darkness, can also make it difficult to see other cars and pedestrians.
  • “Invisible” pedestrians – Darkly clothed pedestrians can be almost impossible to see at night, especially in your peripheral vision or blind spots. 
  • Driver drowsiness – Your attention to detail, objects, and pedestrians can drastically decrease when you’re tired. Driving at night can make you extremely drowsy as a result of your body’s natural reaction to become sleepy when the sun goes down. The monotony of only being able to see the road while it’s completely surrounded by blackness and decreased traffic, can also cause problems.
  • Driving on autopilot – Is also associated with drowsy driving as you may not pay full attention to your surroundings whilst driving a familiar route. However, although you may know the location of every bump, pothole, and stop sign; it doesn’t mean other drivers do, nor that unexpected risks may not turn up. Stay alert no matter what route you take.
  • Inebriated drivers – An increased number of drunk drivers are on the roads between 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., as bars and clubs begin to close.

Following night-time driving etiquette can help you avoid potential threats, traumatic collisions, and fatal accidents associated with driving in the dark. But, remember that even though you may be following the rules, you still need to stay alert for those who aren’t.

Make sure your family and friends are protected by sharing this page with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about a recent accident. The consultation is free but the advice may be priceless.