Why driving at night may increase the risk of an accident

Motorists should be aware that driving at night increases their risk of becoming involved in a car accident, and should know how to prevent a collision.

When the sun goes down in Texas, the streets remain bustling with vehicles that are traveling throughout the state. It is during these nighttime hours, however, that people are more likely to get into a serious car accident. According to the National Safety Council, motorists are three times more likely to get into an accident at night than during the day. This is especially concerning for Texas motorists, as the state has more motor vehicle accident deaths than any other state in the nation. Approximately 3,382 people were killed in Texas traffic accidents in 2013, and 1,244 of those deaths occurred between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Why are people more susceptible to car accidents at night?

1. Decreased ability to see

The NSC reported that more than 90 percent of a motorist's ability to react to a driving hazard depends on his or her ability to see. Not only is it harder for people to see at night, but their depth perception, peripheral vision and color recognition are also severely limited in low-light conditions. This is especially true for older drivers, as their eyes need even more light to see.

2. Headlight blindness

Once a motorist's eyes have adjusted to driving in low levels of light, it can be severely disrupting to have bright headlights flashed directly in his or her field of vision. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, drivers should never look into approaching headlights, but rather look to the side in order to avoid having them shine directly in their eyes.

3. More drunk drivers on the road

More Texans escape to clubs and bars to drink at night than during the day. That is why there are more drunk drivers on the road during these times, especially on the weekend. Experts suggest that motorists should lower their speed when driving at night. This will give drivers more time to respond should they face a driving hazard, like a drunk driver.

What to do if an accident occurs

If you have become the victim of an accident, you may want to seek legal counsel from an attorney in Texas. A personal injury lawyer may be able to answer any questions you have regarding your case and help to point you in the right direction. If you suffer from injuries stemming from the accident, you may be eligible for compensation.