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What makes nighttime driving more dangerous?

The setting of the sun and the arrival of evening does not mean motorists cease driving on Georgia roads. However, what people may not know as they head home from work or drive to the store is how much more dangerous driving is at nighttime. The National Safety Council provides some common reasons drivers should be on guard if they take a drive during the evening hours.

One of the major issues with driving at night is decreased visibility. Normal headlights afford drivers about 250 feet of visibility, with 500 feet if high beams are used. The drop in visibility puts drivers at greater risk of an accident since there is less time to react to an occurrence on the road, such as fallen debris or a vehicle swerving into your lane. Reaction time further diminishes if you drive at high speed.

Fatigue also plagues many drivers at night. Tired motorists are three times more likely to experience a vehicular collision due to their fatigue. Some drivers even fall asleep behind the wheel. Tiredness while driving is caused by a variety of factors. Workers may put in long hours, or work shifts that require a person to drive may stretch for long periods of time. Some people do not get enough sleep or suffer from sleep disorders.

Nighttime driving can also pose additional hazards for older drivers. Aging makes it harder to see at night. At fifty years old, a driver may require double the amount of light to see just as well as someone who is thirty. Older motorists can also suffer from a number of eye disorders, like cataracts or diseases that degenerate vision. Older drivers may also take medication that affects their sight or balance.

Driving at night also means you have greater odds of sharing the road with a drunk driver or someone who is impaired due to drug use. If you take a nighttime drive on a weekend, you are even more likely to do so. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, impaired individuals can be found more frequently driving weekend nights between midnight and 3 a.m.

Since 50% of traffic fatalities occur at night, it is important to take all necessary precautions to avoid a calamitous accident if you need to drive during the evening. Car wrecks can happen in many different ways, so only consider this article as general information on this topic and not as actionable legal advice.

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