Thousands of motorists fill the streets even after the sun sets in California. Whether coming home from a long day at work or going out to have fun with friends, you may feel comfortable driving at night.
Despite your familiarity with nighttime driving, however, there are a number of hazards that appear while driving at night. The National Safety Council reports that the number of fatal car accidents increases on the weekends and peaks on Saturday night. It is important to understand the dangers of nighttime driving to minimize your risk of getting injured or killed in a catastrophic accident.
Even with artificial light streaming from street lamps and headlights, you still may experience reduced vision. A lack of natural light can influence depth perception, color recognition, central vision and peripheral vision. This could cause slowed reaction times to objects on the road, bad weather conditions, other drivers or pedestrians. Eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts, can make these issues worse.
Hazards that occur during the day can become exacerbated at night. These include:
The darkness can intensify or cause drowsiness, especially if you are already tired. Driver fatigue is a serious issue, as more than 60% of motorists admit to having driven while extremely tired. In addition, distractions that take your eyes off the road can be even more dangerous at night with all other factors involved. Furthermore, the number of intoxicated drivers increases at night and on the weekends.
It is important to drive defensively at night to stay safe and protect others driving around you.