Are Car Accidents at Night More Common?

driving at night in New York City - Are Car Accidents at Night More Common

Do more car accidents happen at night? This question is critical for drivers who travel after dark. Statistically, the risk of car accidents indeed increases at night. Factors like reduced visibility, driver fatigue, and a higher likelihood of encountering impaired drivers contribute to this heightened risk.

If you get hurt in a crash at night, it’s essential to know that you can seek compensation for the harm you have suffered. Our New York City car accident lawyers can guide you through the process of recovering this compensation by gathering helpful evidence, advocating for your rights, and negotiating with insurance companies. With a lawyer’s assistance, you can focus on healing from your injuries while we handle all the legal details and seek the compensation you deserve.

Do More Car Accidents Happen at Night Time?

Yes. The data indicate that more car accidents happen at night than during any other time of day. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the highest occurrence of both fatal and nonfatal car crashes occurs between 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. However, there is a notable surge in fatal car accident statistics at night, specifically from 8:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. This is the second-most common period for fatal car accidents at night.

Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a disturbing increase in fatal car accidents at night in 2021. That year, there was an 11 percent rise in crashes between 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. This statistic underscores the increased dangers of night driving, likely due to diminished visibility, driver fatigue, and a greater chance of encountering drivers under the influence.

Why Do More Auto Accidents Happen During the Night?

Serious car accidents are more likely to happen at night primarily due to reduced visibility and increased difficulty in judging distance and speed. Darkness impairs drivers’ ability to see pedestrians, road signs, and other vehicles. Fatigue often sets in during nighttime, leading to slower reaction times and decreased alertness. Nighttime also sees a higher incidence of impaired driving due to alcohol or drug use, further escalating the risk of accidents. These factors combined make driving at night significantly more hazardous.

Common Risk Factors in Night-Time Car Accidents

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common risk factors that contribute to nighttime accidents:

  • Driver Fatigue: Fatigue is a significant factor in nighttime accidents. The body’s circadian rhythms naturally lead to drowsiness during late hours. Fatigued drivers may fall asleep or have sluggish reaction times, impaired judgment, and decreased attention, all of which increase the risk of accidents.
  • Driver Inexperience: Young drivers, often with less experience, are likelier to be on the road during nighttime, especially on weekends. Their lack of experience and the challenges of night driving make them more susceptible to accidents.
  • Impaired Driving: There is a greater likelihood of encountering drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs at night. Impairment affects a driver’s reaction time, decision-making abilities, and overall vehicle control, leading to a greater chance of causing accidents.
  • Reckless Driving: Nighttime often sees an increase in speeding and reckless driving, partly due to less traffic and a false sense of security on open roads. Higher speeds reduce the time drivers have to react to sudden changes, increasing the severity of accidents. If you suffered injuries due to a careless driver, contact our New York City speeding accident lawyers
  • Reduced Visibility: At night, the absence of natural light drastically reduces driver visibility. This limitation affects the ability to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and road hazards. Drivers struggle with decreased depth perception and color recognition, making it difficult to judge distances and spot potential dangers or road signs.

Safety Tips for Night Driving

Driving at night presents unique challenges, so adopting specific safety measures is essential to ensure a safer journey. Here are some vital safety tips for navigating the roads at night:

  • Adjust Speed Appropriately: Drive at a speed that allows you enough time to react to unexpected obstacles or changes in road conditions.
  • Avoid Distractions: Keep distracted driving to a minimum. Avoid using your phone, fiddling with the radio, or engaging in other activities that take your attention away from the road.
  • Check Your Vehicle’s Lights: Regularly check that all your vehicle’s lights are functioning correctly, including headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals.
  • Enhance Visibility: Clean your car’s windows, mirrors, and headlights to improve visibility. Use your headlights appropriately, switching to low beams when facing oncoming traffic to avoid blinding others.
  • Plan Your Route: Before setting off, plan your route and familiarize yourself with it. Avoid less traveled or poorly lit roads when possible.
  • Stay Alert: Avoid fatigue by taking regular breaks during long drives. If you feel drowsy, pull over to a safe location and rest until you’re alert enough to continue.
  • Use Defensive Driving Techniques: Be extra cautious and anticipate potential hazards. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and be vigilant of the behavior of other drivers.
  • Wear Corrective Lenses If Needed: If you require glasses or contact lenses, ensure you wear them while driving. Consider anti-glare lenses to reduce the effect of oncoming headlights.

What to Do After a Crash at Night

If you get into a car accident at night, here’s what you can do to protect your health and your rights:

  • Avoid discussing details of the accident with others involved.
  • Contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible.
  • Document the scene with photos and videos.
  • Exchange information with the other involved parties.
  • Gather contact information from any witnesses.
  • Keep a record of all medical treatments received.
  • Notify your insurance company about the accident.
  • Obtain a copy of the police report.
  • Seek medical attention, even if your injuries seem minor.
  • Track all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills and car repairs.

Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in New York Today

Have you been involved in a nighttime car crash and suffered injuries? You don’t need to face the aftermath alone. At Finz & Finz, P.C. we understand your challenges and are here to help. Contact our team of dedicated legal professionals now for a free consultation.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.