NHTSA study shows lack of lighting adversely affects driving
Many factors can impact negatively on driving. Flat tires, adverse weather conditions, or being distracted are some of the reasons that often lead to accidents. However, thanks to a study conducted by the NHTSA, we now also know another important reason, time: many car accidents occur at night.
According to data shared by the agency in its most recent review, out of the more than 5 million car crashes that took place in 2020, 29% took place at nightfall. Based on different research, poor visibility and illumination considerably increase the risk of collision.
Half of the Fatal Car Accidents Happen at Night
The data regarding fatal traffic accidents is particularly striking. NHTSA data shows that in 2020 there was a 7% increase in fatalities over 2019, with nearly 39,000 fatalities. That same year was the deadliest year on the road since 2007. These numbers are astounding when considering that in 2020 there were as many as 22% fewer motor vehicle crashes. Crashes are down, but fatalities are up.
To be more specific, fatal car accidents in 2020 in the United States numbered 35,766. Of this number, 49% occurred at night (a total of 17,572). Unlit areas accounted for 27% of these collisions, while lighted areas caused 21% of fatal crashes. Lack of illumination turns out to be a key factor in many fatalities.
The International Association for Traffic Science and Safety published research on nighttime driving in 2018. The results showed that there was a relationship between low visibility and lighting and the likelihood of having an accident.
What Time and Day of the Week are Most Deadly?
Speeding, alcohol use, negligent driving, or failure to buckle up are common causes of road fatalities. But what time and day of the week are the deadliest?
Based on NHTSA data, the weekend tends to be the period of days with the most incidents. In fact, as previously shown, most of these fatal car accidents are at night. Saturday is the day with the most fatalities, with 1,158, with 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. being the most conflicting hours. This is followed by Friday, with 1,104, and Sunday, with 1,006.
Hours with the most fatal car accidents:
- Monday: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. No. of fatalities: 757.
- Tuesday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. No. of fatalities: 849.
- Wednesday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. No. of deaths: 870.
- Thursday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. No. of deaths: 868.
- Friday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 00 a.m. No. of deaths: 1,104.
- Saturday: 9 p.m. to 00 a.m. No. of deaths: 1,158.
- Sunday: 00 a.m. to 3 a.m. No. of deaths: 1,006.
Poor Lighting Also Leads to Accidents with Injuries or Car Damage
Regarding the number of non-fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2020, the data also show a trend toward crashes at night.
The total number of crashes resulting in injuries is more than 1.5 million. Of these, nearly half a million occurred at nighttime. Interestingly, lighted areas (18%) have a higher crash record than unlighted areas (11%), with 293,168 and 171,651 respectively.
When talking about minor accidents that only caused damage to the car, the total number rises to more than three and a half million nationwide. Car accidents at night account for more than one million, 28% of the total. As previously, lighted areas have more accidents than unlit areas, at 16% and 12%.
Following the publication of this devastating information, experts have spoken out. They recommend that improving lighting conditions on roads can be key to saving many lives.
The fact that during the day there are not a large number of deaths consolidates this theory: visibility is an important factor in avoiding traffic collisions. This is because, according to a study shared by the National Library of Medicine, adequate lighting allows drivers to be more responsive.
Involved in a Car Accident at Night? We Can Help
According to statistics, driving at night can be very dangerous, especially if there is poor lighting. Although the number of vehicle collisions has decreased slightly, the number of fatal accidents has increased. The best advice to take care of your health is to drive with caution and respect safety regulations.
If, unfortunately, you or someone in your family has been involved in a car accident at night due to the negligence of another driver, let us help you. At Adamson Ahdoot, we know what it is like to go through a frustrating situation like wrongful death or a devastating injury. Today, we can get you back the financial and mental peace of mind you deserve.
Bring the wrongdoer to justice. Contact a member of our team to learn more about your case. Request a free consultation by calling (800) 310-1606.