After the sun sets, a distinct set of hazards on the road arises, making heightened awareness important for safe nighttime driving.
Although crashes are overall more likely to happen during the day when there are more cars on the road, collisions that occur at night are often more dangerous. By acknowledging these risks and adapting accordingly, you can mitigate the dangers of night driving.
Speeding and reckless behavior
Reckless road behaviors like speeding are generally more prevalent at night. In Tennessee, auto accidents that happen after dark involve speeding 1.2 times more often than those that occur during the day. The reduced traffic and the cover of darkness embolden some drivers to disregard speed limits and engage in dangerous behaviors.
High speeds reduce a driver’s ability to react to sudden changes in road conditions or unexpected hazards. To protect yourself and your passengers, follow speed limits and remain alert to the actions of other drivers. Anticipating sudden moves and maintaining a safe following distance can help avoid accidents.
One of the most significant challenges of night driving is reduced visibility. Darkness may impair a driver’s ability to see, recognize potential hazards and react quickly. This issue is more pronounced in rural areas, where lighting on the road is minimal.
Drivers often find it difficult to judge distances and speeds at night, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Additionally, the glare from oncoming headlights can blind drivers. This further reduces reaction times and increases the risk of collisions.
Nighttime driving also increases your risk of encountering drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times and impaired judgment. They also have a higher propensity for risky behavior, making them a threat to road safety.
To stay safe, take precautions when driving after dark on weekends and holidays, when the incidence of drunk driving tends to be higher. If you suspect another driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, keep a safe distance and consider reporting them to local authorities.
Night driving in Tennessee presents several risks. Awareness of these challenges and taking proactive safety measures can reduce the likelihood of accidents and ensure a safer journey for all.