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Once the sun sets in New York City, the traffic doesn’t rest. People are rushing home from work, running errands or headed out for a night on the town. What they may not realize is that the risk of being involved in a catastrophic car accident is significantly higher at night than during the day. According to AAA, drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident at night than during daytime hours. What are the reasons for this increased risk?

The lack of natural light is one of the biggest problems. Not only is it harder to see in the dark, but drivers’ depth perception and peripheral vision are also affected. It can be difficult to judge the speed and distance of an oncoming car when turning into traffic. This is especially true for elderly drivers over the age of 60 years, who require more light to see.

In addition to the lack of light, headlight blindness is also an issue. When drivers look directly into bright headlights, it can cause temporary blindness. Other issues that can increase drivers’ risk of death when driving at night include the following:

  • More intoxicated motorists on the roads
  • Increased construction activity
  • Night blindness caused by cataracts or glaucoma

Certain driving hazards may be even more dangerous at night, such as bad weather conditions, distracted drivers, animals in the road, objects in the road, pedestrian crosswalks and other motorists. When driving at night, it is best to avoid any distractions, drive defensively and be prepared to act quickly.