Have you ever felt nervous while driving at night, or that you generally have a harder time seeing what's in front of you on the road? If so, you're not alone. Nighttime driving is far more dangerous than driving during the daytime, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). During the winter months, drivers will find themselves driving in the dark more often than any other time of the year.
The experienced Texas car accident lawyers at Karam Law Firm discuss the most common factors that lead to crashes at night. If you were hurt in a crash, our law firm can help you pursue a claim.
What are the most common risks of driving at night?
According to the National Safety Council, the leading factors in nighttime car accidents include:
Limited visibility. Visibility is limited to 250 feet at night for most drivers. When the high beams are activated, visibility range can increase to 500 feet. Visibility range can be reduced when drivers fail to clean their headlights, however. Older drivers typically have a harder time seeing at night, as well. For example, a driver who is over 50 typically needs twice as much light as younger drivers.
Drowsy driving. Drivers are more likely to be tired when driving in the dark. That's because dark conditions naturally cause the body to release melatonin, which is a sleep hormone that induces drowsiness. Nearly 800 people die in drowsy driving crashes each year in the U.S., according to the NHTSA.
Impaired driving. Some drivers are more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs at night than any other time of day. In fact, according to the NSC, weekend nights are significantly more dangerous than any other time of the week due to impaired drivers. More than 10,000 people die in drunk driving crashes in the U.S. each year. Texas has one of the highest rates of drunk driving fatalities in the U.S., with a total of 1,332 deaths in 2019.
Best ways to avoid a nighttime crash
The NSC offers these tips to avoid a crash when driving in the dark:
- Give yourself enough time to get from point A to point B.
- Reduce your speed and maintain a safe following distance.
- Don't drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or sedative medications.
- Maintain and clean your headlights for better visibility.
- Get off the road if you're too drowsy to drive and take a short nap.
- Consider getting night driving glasses if you suffer from a degenerative eye disorder.
How to pursue a claim if you were involved in a nighttime crash
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash whiled driving at night, you have the right to pursue damages from the other driver's insurance company. Since Texas is an at-fault insurance state, you will need to prove that the other driver was negligent in order to recover damages. An experienced car accident lawyer at Karam Law Firm can launch a thorough investigation into your crash and find out what happened.
Our legal team will also ensure that an accurate value is placed on your claim. We'll also deal with the insurance companies for you and fight to help you recover every dollar you're entitled to. Our law offices are located in McAllen and Edinburg, Texas. We'd be glad to go over your legal options during a free consultation. There is no obligation to hire us, but if you do, you don't pay unless we win your case. To get started, contact us online or call one of our offices.