Since we sprung forward with daylight savings time, Georgians have been enjoying more daylight. Since the sun does not set until later, commuters no longer have to worry about it being dark during rush hour.
This is one benefit of the spring and summer seasons. However, all drivers must still be aware of the risks that come with driving at night.
Why is driving at night so dangerous?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that deadly accidents are three times more likely to occur at night than during the day.
There are several reasons for this, including:
- Night brings low visibility: Naturally, it becomes challenging for drivers to see when it is dark outside. This is true regardless of a driver’s age. Darkness impairs our peripheral vision and limits how far ahead we can see. Therefore, a driver’s reaction time to hazards significantly decreases the moment the sun goes down.
- Drivers are more likely to be tired: Drowsy driving is a serious problem across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, on average, 1 in 25 drivers across the country confesses to falling asleep while driving in the last month. When drivers are drowsy, they cannot focus their full attention on driving. This only manages to put other drivers on the road at risk, and significantly increase the chance of an accident.
- Animals are more active at night: When it comes to deer-related car accidents, Georgia ranks 19th out of all 50 states. We may not be in the top 10, but the risk of hitting a deer – or another animal, for that matter – is still high. The risk is especially high in the evening when animals tend to be more active.
Drivers must take these risks seriously. It is always essential to drive defensively and avoid distractions, but it is especially critical whenever drivers venture out onto the roads after dark.