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“Fall Back”: Driving in the Dark

Over 50% of traffic deaths occur between dusk and dawn. Fatigue, compromised night vision and congested driving conditions all contribute to a higher percentage of accidents during nighttime driving.

Car driving at night time

Daylight savings time starts the first Sunday of November. With fewer daylight hours, the rate of vehicle collision fatalities is three times higher when driving in the dark. Three major causes of deaths can be attributed to the body: fatigue, darkness, and compromised night vision.

 

In addition to the physical challenges we face when driving at night, traffic congestion, road hazards or construction, and animals unexpectedly crossing the road can also contribute to the dangers of driving after dark.

Impaired drivers, individuals intoxicated or on drugs, are most frequently on the road after dark, between midnight and 3 AM. While drunk driving has decreased by one-third since 2007, there is a significant increase in drivers under the influence of drugs on the road. Impairments can also mean utilizing technology, which can result in serious injury for the driver themselves, fellow drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Next time you are behind the wheel at night, take note of how your body feels: pull over to rest or stop to get something to eat if you need to. By slowing down and being aware of your surroundings, and other drivers on the road, you can help to reduce driving accidents.

Source: National Safety Council