Many drivers experience a decrease in visibility when driving at night. In fact, a number of motorists prefer not to navigate the roadways once the sun goes down because it is harder to see the road and their surroundings.
Studies show that drivers are three times more likely to get killed in a nighttime motor vehicle accident than they are during the day, according to AAA. It is critical that people understand how a lack of natural light can affect their ability to drive in order to minimize the risk of a catastrophic car accident.
How does natural light help?
Driving during the day is dramatically different from traveling at night, as natural light allows for better central vision, peripheral vision, color differentiation and depth perception, according to the National Safety Council. People are able to better judge the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles. Not only are people able to see what is going on around them, but they have a faster response time to any hazards that may come up unexpectedly, such as bad weather conditions, objects in the road, animals, distractions and other drivers. Artificial light from street lamps and bright headlights can cause temporary blindness.
How can drivers minimize the risk of accidents?
There are some important steps drivers can take to help them stay safe while driving at night, according to Allstate. These include the following:
- Avoid distractions while driving, such as texting, talking on a cellphone or playing with the radio
- Slow down
- Remain focused and pay attention to surroundings
- Be ready to respond to hazards and dangers that pop up
- Ensure headlights and car lights are working properly
- Have eyes checked regularly
If motorists do not feel completely comfortable driving at night, they should make other arrangements to eliminate the need to do so. When drivers are aware of the added risks of nighttime driving, they may be able to prevent a serious accident.