The presence of cars, trucks and buses on Washington roadways does not stop once the sun sets for the day. The streets are still full of cars traveling home from work, or going out for a night of fun. While driving at night may not seem much different than daytime driving, the risk of losing your life is higher when you drive during nighttime hours. According to the National Safety Council, you are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident while driving at night. As a nighttime driver, it is critical that you understand what these factors are so that you can minimize your chances of becoming involved in an accident.
One of the most prominent changes you experience while driving at night is a lack of natural light. The reduced amount of light can affect your ability to see objects in the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, traffic signs and other drivers. Your eyes may also have limited capabilities at night, as your depth perception, peripheral vision and focus may all be affected by reduced light levels. This can make it hard to judge the distance and speed of an oncoming car as you turn into traffic.
The bright, glaring lights from oncoming vehicles does not help. If you look directly into a set of oncoming headlights, you may experience temporary blindness which could cause immediate problems. It is best to avoid looking at them directly. Furthermore, there are more drunk drivers on the road at night, which increases your risk of getting into an accident.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.