Are Fatal Car Accidents More Common After Dark?

Despite fewer vehicles traveling on the road at night, about half of all fatal car accidents happen after darkness falls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says there were 5.25 million car accidents in 2020. About 29 percent of those accidents happened at night. Additionally, the NHTSA says 49 percent of the 35,766 fatalities in 2020 occurred after dark. There are several reasons why fatal accidents tend to occur at night.

Unlit Roadways

The most common factor in nighttime accident fatalities is an unlit roadway. Unlit areas accounted for nearly 10,000 fatalities at night versus nearly 7,500 in lit areas. Street lights improve visibility at night and make it easier to drive with the headlights on dim.

When a roadway is unlit, motorists must use their high beams, which could blind oncoming drivers. Unlit roads make it harder to see lane markings, traffic signs, and dangerous road conditions. For example, a deep pothole, an object or car in the road, or icy conditions are harder to see when the road is dark. You might strike a pothole, fallen branch, or lose traction on an icy or wet roadway. You are also more likely to drive off the shoulder of the road or cross the center lane after dark.

Rural Areas Can Be Dangerous

Unlit roads are often located in more rural areas and have sections that bend, turn, and change in elevation. When the roadway is unlit, it is harder to see sudden changes in the road and react to them by adjusting your speed or turning. The presence of lights help you anticipate a turn or change in elevation. Without streetlights, you only have your headlights to light the way.

Animals at Night

Large animals are also more likely to be on the road after dark. Deer are especially dangerous during the fall and spring. When they enter the roadway, they might freeze upon seeing oncoming headlights. The height and weight of a deer or other animal can damage your car and lead to injuries.

Nighttime Driving Tips

You can make driving at night safer by ensuring your headlights, taillights, and turn signals are working. Driving with a burned-out headlight, taillight, or brake light could cause an accident. Even a damaged turn signal makes it harder for other motorists to anticipate where you are going.

You should always avoid driving while drowsy. Drowsy driving causes many car accidents per year. If you feel you are too tired to drive, find another ride, or get rest until you can safely drive again.

Additionally, do not drink and drive. Alcohol use is a common factor in fatal car accidents. More drunk drivers are on the road at night, so you should also watch out for other intoxicated motorists. If you feel a motorist is intoxicated, steer clear of them. You can also report them if they are driving erratically.

Mount Holly Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Helps Drivers Who Have Been Injured in Nighttime Crashes

Our experienced Mount Holly car accident lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can help you if you were injured in a nighttime accident that was caused by a negligent driver. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Burlington County and the surrounding areas.