FREE CONSULTATION (573) 341.8336
(573) 341.8336

What You Should Know About Car Accidents At Night

Car Accident Injury Lawyer Missouri

What You Should Know About Car Accidents At Night

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), driving at night can be more dangerous due to numerous factors. In cases involving car accidents at night, the team of personal injury lawyers at Steelman Gaunt Crowley assesses all circumstances of the crash to determine if the other driver or another third party was at fault for causing the crash, otherwise known as negligent. If you have recently been injured in a car accident at night, you can learn more about your legal options by contacting our Missouri car accident lawyers at (573) 341-8336.

What Are the Biggest Hazards of Night-Time Driving?

Driving at night involves several unique dangers. All drivers should be aware of these dangers and informed in the best practices for how to drive as safely as possible after the sun has gone down. The National Safety Council has identified the following four dangers as the biggest hazards of night-time driving.

Reduced Visibility

Human vision becomes compromised at night. This means that it is generally much more difficult to see the road and its surroundings in low-light conditions, a risk factor that has an especially pronounced impact on senior drivers because the nighttime decline in sight range and acuity gets worse with age. According to the NSC, a 50-year-old driver may require twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old driver. Older drivers are also prone to other vision conditions that can impair driving, such as cataracts and degenerative eye diseases. 

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has made several recommendations for older drivers to help ensure safe driving at night, even with reduced visibility:

  • See an eye doctor for a vision exam every year
  • Drive more slowly at night
  • Consider taking a driving course
  • Avoid distractions, such as listening to the radio, using a cell phone, or chatting with passengers
  • Ask your doctor about prescription drug side effects
  • If your night vision is too poor to drive safely, restrict driving to daylight hours


Research shows that driving while fatigued can result in impaired vehicle operation comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowsy driving impairs focus, reaction time, and decision-making ability, all of which greatly increase the risk of getting into an accident. This is why driving while fatigued should be avoided at all costs.

Even drivers who are themselves fully rested and alert are at risk of getting into a preventable accident if they happen to encounter a drowsy driver on the road. If drowsy driving causes an accident and others are injured, those injured parties may have grounds for a personal injury claim based on negligence. 

Rush Hour

Rush hour is always a more dangerous time to drive because of crowded roads and aggressive drivers, but rush hour during the winter involves additional hazards related to the dark. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, the evening rush hour starts as the sun begins to set and continues until well after dark.

Although a negligent driver can easily cause an accident that injures responsible drivers, some tips can help improve your chances of getting home safely during rush hour:

  • Drive patiently
  • Stay in one lane and watch for other drivers who are weaving through traffic
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid all distractions, such as a phone, food, and drinks

You can learn more about your rights after rush hour accidents and other car accidents at night by contacting the Missouri car accident lawyers at Steelman Gaunt Crowley.

Impaired Drivers

The vast majority of drunk driving crashes happen at night. Many of these crashes involve severe or fatal injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about two-thirds of fatal crashes between midnight and 3 a.m. involve drunk drivers. While avoiding drunk driving goes without saying, responsible and sober drivers should also be wary of impaired drivers when driving at night. However, even safe drivers are at risk of a drunk driver causing an accident.

How Can I Reduce the Risk of Car Accidents at Night?

Although driving at night is generally more dangerous compared to driving in daylight conditions, an awareness of nighttime hazards and responsible driving behaviors can help reduce the risk of getting into an accident. Consider following these guidelines to minimize your chances of being involved in a car accident at night:

  • Avoid driving while impaired: This includes not just drunk driving, but other forms of impairment, such as driving while sleep-deprived or driving under the influence of prescription medications that induce drowsiness.
  • Keep the windshield clean: Reduced visibility is one of the top hazards of driving at night, so drivers should make sure their windshields are clean and clear before hitting the road after dark. A driver who causes an accident due to a dirty windshield could also be considered negligent.
  • Avoid distracted driving: Staying focused on the road is vital for safe driving at any hour of the day, as distracted driving causes countless accidents. However, the unique hazards of driving at night make it even more likely that a lack of focus could cause a crash.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles: Following too closely to other vehicles is highly dangerous, as it reduces the amount of time a driver has to come to a complete stop or react to an unexpected hazard, such as an animal or other obstacle in the roadway. 
  • Get regular vision exams: Although this is especially important for older drivers, drivers of all ages should regularly have their vision checked. Vision can gradually get worse unnoticed, and even slight vision impairment can make driving at night much more dangerous. 

Contact a Team of Missouri Car Accident Lawyers

Many car accidents at night are preventable and only happen due to the negligence of someone involved in the accident. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a preventable accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you have legal rights, including a potential personal injury claim for damages. At Steelman Gaunt Crowley, our team of dedicated Missouri car accident lawyers helps our clients fight for the financial compensation they need and deserve after suffering car accident injuries. Contact us today at (573) 341-8336 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.