Do fatal car accidents happen more often at night?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | car accidents |

Car accidents can happen at any time of the day, but nighttime can increase risks and the chances of fatal incidents. Even if cars have equipment to light the way, the reach can have limits depending on how bright it is. These lights can be helpful to spot dangers or obstacles approaching the vehicle, but they may not illuminate farther areas, which may be necessary based on the car’s speed.

In California, fatal incidents happen more often well into the night, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., based on a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other factors can also impact how dangerous nighttime driving can be, affecting the frequency and severity of accidents.

What risk factors can worsen when driving at night?

Some risk factors that are present regardless of time can worsen at nighttime, including the following:

  • Poor vision due to age or health issues
  • Drowsy driving
  • Driving when drunk or intoxicated
  • High traffic on roadways
  • Other risks that may exist, such as encounters with aggressive drivers

At night, drivers can have more difficulty dealing with these issues, which could be unpredictable and inevitable, depending on the circumstances.

Staying safe no matter what time of the day

One of the simplest ways to reduce crash risks is by developing safe driving habits. These practices can save lives at any time of the day and minimize hazards at night. Additionally, refusing to drive at night could be beneficial, especially if the driver has medical impairments that may contribute to these risks.

Even if a crash is not fatal, it can cause property damage and injuries, causing financial burdens that may become overwhelming. Based on the situation, the victims can seek legal counsel after the crash and pursue compensation from the at-fault party, mainly if the incident happened because of their negligence.