Driving in the dark may seem like second nature for many motorists in Kentucky. Many people drive home at night on a daily basis. What you may not know, however, is the dangers behind nighttime driving.
According to the National Safety Council, you are three times more likely to get killed in a car accident while driving at night. Not only is it harder to see without natural sunlight, but there are more drowsy, distracted and drunk drivers on the road. Remaining cautious and avoiding distractions can help you avoid a serious collision.
Human eyes cannot see as well in the dark as they can in natural sunlight. Even with artificial lighting from street lamps and headlights, motorists have difficulties discerning certain objects and have a delayed reaction time as a result. This is especially true with older drivers, who may suffer from conditions, including macular degeneration, cataracts or glaucoma. Not only is it harder to tell the speed and distance of an oncoming vehicle, but you may not be able to respond to bad weather conditions, pedestrians, traffic signs or traffic lights.
There are a greater number of distracted, drowsy and drunk drivers on the roads at night than there are during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, at least 60% of adult drivers say they have driven while drowsy, and 103 million people admit to having fallen asleep while behind the wheel. The darkness increases the body’s natural production of melatonin, a natural hormone that makes you feel tired.
Drivers impaired by drugs and/or alcohol are also more common at night. It is important to keep an eye out for reckless motorists and report them to law enforcement immediately if you come across one.