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What are nighttime driving hazards?

California is known for its vibrant nightlife. When the sun sets over the ocean, cars, trucks and motorcycles continue to fill the streets. Headlights and streetlights guide the way as vehicles travel to their nighttime destination. The dangers of driving at night, however, may be significantly worse than those that occur during the day. According to the National Safety Council, people are three times more likely to die in a car accident when driving at night than they are during the day.

The lack of natural light is just one reason for this high rate of nighttime fatalities. People are unable to see as well in the dark, as the reduced light condition may cause decreased peripheral visions and depth perception. People often have a harder time judging the speed and distance of approaching vehicles, and may inadvertently turn in front of or pull out in front of a vehicle. Inexperienced teenagers and elderly drivers with vision conditions and slow response times may be at a higher risk.

Headlight glare can also be dangerous to drivers who look directly into oncoming headlights. These bright lights can cause immediate and temporary blindness to motorists who look at them. Drivers are encouraged to avoid staring at passing headlights.

There are a greater number of drunk drivers on the road at night than there are during the day. Furthermore, distracted drivers who are also navigating the roads in low-light conditions can be dangerous to others on the road. Nighttime drivers should be extremely cautious and always stay focused on the road.

This information should be used for educational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice.  

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