When You Are In A Late Night Auto Accident
There are many reasons why auto accidents tend to happen frequently at night, particularly at very late hours of the night and into early morning. These reasons include:
- Poor visibility in the dark
- Nighttime fog
- Glare of bright lights
- Poor lighting on city streets or highways
- Drunk driving
- Sleepy or drowsy drivers
- Pedestrians wearing dark clothing
- Weather conditions compounding the effect of darkness
- Other reasons
Additional lighting on roads and highways can certainly help prevent accidents. But many other causes of these accidents are human mistakes from poor judgment, negative behaviors and inattention.
When you are injured in an auto accident, whether late at night or during the day, it is important to get the help of a personal injury and auto accident attorney. When another driver is at fault or you are otherwise not to blame for the collision, such a lawyer can help you get the compensation you need for your injuries, property damage and other accident-related expenses.
Consequences of Late Night Auto Accidents
More than 40 percent of auto accident fatalities occur as a result of accidents taking place at night or in the pre-dawn mornings. At night, drivers are three times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident than during the day. Factors that can help drivers and their passengers remain safer from nighttime auto accidents include:
- Being attentive while driving at night
- Reducing speed to suit lower visibility
- Planning ahead for your trip to ensure familiarity with the route
- Only drive when alert
- Pull over to sleep or otherwise not drive when drowsy
- Ensure headlights are in working order and well-maintained
- Keep the windshield clean of dirt and debris that can cause light glares and reduced visibility
- Ensure you do not drink and drive or take drugs – prescription, over-the-counter or illicit – that can affect your ability to drive
Factors outside of your control that contribute to nighttime auto accidents include:
- Road construction
- Incorrect placement of road signage
- Careless drivers
- DUI drivers
- Drowsy drivers of other vehicles
- Other factors
If you cannot see well at night, as many people cannot, it is important to set ego aside and ask someone else to do the driving. Or you may need to take public transportation or a taxi due to inability to see well in the dark.
When the environment in which you are driving is dark, foggy or not well lit at night, you should always drive more slowly and pay close attention to the road, other drivers and pedestrians. Avoid distracted driving by getting to know your map route before getting behind the wheel. Pull over to read maps, whether they are on smartphones, your digital display or a traditional paper map. If passengers are being unruly, insist upon them calming down and allowing you to concentrate on the road. If you are driving later than usual or when you are usually sleeping, it is particularly critical that you self-check consistently throughout your trip to ensure you are not getting sleepy.
When Nighttime Accidents Happen
When late-night auto accidents occur, other drivers, passengers and pedestrians can be seriously injured or killed. Involved vehicles suffer property damage, as well as structures, objects or buildings impacted by these cars. When people are seriously injured, they may require long-term treatment. When a death occurs, there can even be criminal charges if the situation necessitates such law enforcement action.
Whenever you are in an auto accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. This is the case even if you do not yet feel injured. It can sometimes take several days for the full effect of the accident to be felt or seen and internal injuries can be difficult to detect without an exam.
Case Studies of Late Night Driving
Three recent case studies centered on more fully illuminated streets proved that there were 35 percent fewer auto accidents at late night with the lighting, than without. Drivers could see more of the road around them, other drivers, intersections, pedestrians and other important sights more clearly and readily in the lighting. These studies include data collected for six years and very clearly linked nighttime accident frequency to darkness and low visibility of nighttime with accident reduction attributed to added lighting.
When You Are in a Late Night Auto Accident: Obtain a Lawyer
When you are in an auto accident and are not at fault, it is always important to hire a personal injury lawyer for legal advice, to gain compensation for the damages and any other assistance you may need as part of your accident claim. It is particularly necessary to engage a lawyer when someone is injured or killed.