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Does the Risk of an Illinois Car Accident Increase at Night?

 Posted on January 29, 2021 in Car Accidents

Joliet car accident attorneyDriving can be dangerous anytime someone gets behind the wheel. Various factors such as weather, road conditions, car maintenance, and driver behavior can all impact the chances of an accident. However, studies show that certain times of the day have a greater risk of being involved in a vehicle collision. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), car accident fatality rates are three times higher for nighttime drivers compared to daytime drivers. There are several reasons for these statistics, and those who are hurt in a vehicle crash should be aware of the factors that can impact their personal injury cases.  

Factors of Nighttime Driving

Certain issues that can contribute to the likelihood of a nighttime car accident may be related to the environment, while others are the direct result of driver actions or behaviors that happen more frequently in the late-night hours. It is important to note that low-light conditions can significantly compromise a driver’s depth perception and peripheral vision.

Common factors that can impact night driving include:

  • Reduced visibility: The ability to see at night or even at dusk can be greatly reduced compared to the light of the daytime. That is why it is important for motorists to adapt their driving behaviors accordingly. Those who need eyeglasses or contacts to see farther distances must make sure they have those in hand before venturing out, even if it is a short trip to the grocery store in the evening. Drivers who do not properly maintain their vehicles with working headlights or taillights put themselves and others at risk by not being as visible. 

  • Impaired drivers: Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state. Unfortunately, some individuals decide to drive after indulging in a night of drinking. Controlled substances make it difficult for drivers to stay alert and focused, lowering awareness of their surroundings, as well as their reaction time if another vehicle were to suddenly brake or turn in front of them. 

  • Driver fatigue: Many motorists get behind the wheel when they are tired without thinking twice about it. However, studies have shown that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Falling asleep at the wheel can lead to a driver losing control and crashing into other cars or objects such as trees, cement medians, or buildings. Truck drivers often travel long distances at night, so it is imperative that they get adequate rest in between driving shifts.

  • Road construction: Although more common during the summer months, crews can repair roadways throughout the year. This type of construction can result in traffic patterns being changed or re-routed. In addition, when it is dark, it can be difficult to see potholes or debris in the road ahead of time.  

All motorists should be aware of the risks of driving at night and take precautions to avoid them, but if you or your loved one is injured in an auto accident, notifying first responders immediately can help address any urgent medical concerns. Also, an official police report of the accident can be used as evidence if you file a claim. An experienced attorney can assist you with reaching a fair resolution or settlement depending on the circumstances of your case. 

Contact a Will County Personal Injury Lawyer

Understanding your legal options after being hurt in a car accident is critical, especially if it was caused by a negligent party. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, we are dedicated to making sure personal injury victims receive the compensation they need and deserve. Have confidence in knowing that your case will be handled by an attorney who is a tenacious litigator and has more than 20 years of experience in personal injury law. Call our accomplished Joliet car accident attorney today at 815-727-0100 to schedule a free, private consultation. 



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