Motor vehicle crash deaths increase threefold at night

There are several reasons why driving during the evening and nighttime hours is more dangerous in New York and around the country. Municipalities eager to avoid rush hour traffic congestion often schedule road construction and repair crews to work at night, and drunk drivers are a persistent danger in the late night and early morning hours. Government accident data shows that the chances of being killed in a car accident are three times higher at night, but there are steps that motorists can take to reduce these risks.

The primary danger associated with nighttime driving is decreased visibility, which makes it more difficult for motorists to see other road users, gauge how far away they are and determine how fast they are moving. However, safety experts say that drivers can greatly mitigate these dangers by reducing their speeds, maintaining safe distances from the vehicles ahead, avoiding distractions and remaining vigilant and driving defensively.

Older motorists and those who have particular trouble driving at night may wish to consult an ophthalmologist. Vision deteriorates as we age, and a condition known as nyctalopia can make distinguishing objects in low light extremely difficult. Nyctalopia can be treated with medication, deteriorating vision can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses and nighttime driving safety can be further improved by avoiding glare and dimming bright interior lights.

Drivers who caused accidents because they failed to slow down and adjust to nighttime road conditions may face car accident lawsuits. The electronics systems of modern cars constantly record information and monitor engine functions, and this information could be used by experienced personal injury attorneys to determine how fast vehicles were traveling when they crashed. Police accident reports generally contain detailed information about road and weather conditions, and this data may be used by attorneys to establish that the speeds revealed by automobile black boxes were unsafe.

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