On Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time ends. Since the evening will arrive earlier, many drivers will spend most of their time driving in the dark.
Unfortunately, many car accidents occur at night. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drivers are at a greater risk of being involved in a fatal collision at night by three times compared to driving during the day.
The following are the most common reasons why the evening is the most dangerous time to drive:
- Difficulties seeing in the dark – While the sun obviously provides an ample amount of light to see everything surrounding you on the road and even long distances, driving in the dark can compromise our depth perception and our ability to anticipate unexpected situations. When we get older, our ability to see slowly deteriorates. When you drive at night, drive slowly and reduce distractions. For older motorists, schedule vision checks every year.
- Impaired motorists – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 30 people are involved in fatal car accidents which involve alcohol. However, many collisions are also caused by drivers who are under the influence of illegal drugs and prescription medication. The common time frame these crashes happen is between midnight and three in the morning. If you decide to consume alcohol, avoid getting behind the wheel and rely on ridesharing services or public transportation to get home.
- Drowsy driving – Thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries are caused by fatigued driving every year on U.S. roadways. Whether we had a long day at work, worked the graveyard shift, or didn’t get enough sleep the night before, our driving while drowsy is just as bad as intoxicated driving. Always get a good night’s sleep before you drive. If you feel tired while driving, simply pull over in a safe area for a brief nap.
- Rush hour – Between four and seven in the evenings, drivers are frantically trying to get home once work concludes, often causing traffic jams and even accidents. Now that it gets darker sooner, the dangers of rush hour driving significantly increase. When driving through rush hour traffic, be patient, remain in your lane, and watch out for aggressive motorists and motorcycles cruising between lanes.