Why Night Is the Most Dangerous Driving Time

Driving is an incredibly hazardous necessity in Southern California. Countless people drive in the sprawling Los Angeles area every day because they live so far from their workplaces. Most commuters work until 5:00 pm or so and daytime traffic is known to be severe, so this also leaves thousands of people driving at night, which is the worst time to be driving. Here are a few reasons why drivers should avoid driving after dark when at all possible from our Pasadena car accident attorneys.


The most apparent reason night is a dangerous time to drive is the low visibility offered compared to daylight hours. While cars should have headlights and taillights installed in their vehicles, some drivers fail to repair them when they break—or simply forget to turn them on. This failure to fix their cars can often confuse and endanger other drivers, who may not see the other car through the dark otherwise.

Humans aren’t nocturnal, which means our eyes were not designed to see well in the dark. Our depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision are all weakened when the sun goes down, all of which we need to be effective and safe drivers. Even with high-beams, visibility is limited to around 500 feet, which allows for less reaction time if you see something ahead of you on the road.

Aging Vision

Part of the danger of nighttime driving is aging. Older people often have trouble seeing in the dark, and as we age, we need more and more light to see what we used to be able to in earlier years. According to the American Optometric Association, drivers age 60 and up can have even more issues, as they are more likely to develop cataracts and degenerative eye diseases.


The later it gets, the more likely it is to be close to some drivers’ bedtimes. A national poll found 60% of adults have driven while they were tired and another 37% have fallen asleep at the wheel—that’s around 103 million sleeping drivers. Much of this is the result of poor sleeping habits or demanding physical labor at work, and driver fatigue can contribute to many crashes and near-misses on the road.

Rush Hour

Nighttime is usually when people are just getting off of work and driving home. Many of these drivers are dreaming of dinner, family, and taking a relaxing break after a long day of labor. Because of these relaxing and appealing upcoming events, drivers are often short-tempered, irritable, and dangerous. These are eager drivers who are more inclined to speed when able to do so. However, speeding—especially at night—is incredibly dangerous, particularly in disagreeable weather, such as rain and snow.

Impaired Drivers

You are more likely to encounter a drunk or drugged person on the road at night than during the day. Around 30 people a day die in crashes related to drunk driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even those on prescribed medications can be a problem, as some pain medications have a soporific effect.

If you were injured in an auto accident caused by another driver’s negligence or carelessness, don’t hesitate to call us. The Pasadena car accident attorneys at Tedford & Associates have more than three decades of combined legal experience to offer your case. Let us see if we can get you compensation for any medical expenses and lost wages you may have suffered as a result of the accident.

Fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.


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