Night Driving Accidents
Nighttime driving presents unique dangers that driving during daytime hours does not. Therefore, motorists who drive at night need to take precautions to avoid night driving accidents. Driving at night is more dangerous even when traveling on familiar roads because of decreased visibility, the risk of being blinded by headlights, and the heightened risk of encountering drowsy, fatigued, or otherwise impaired drivers. Accidents that happen after dark can result in devastating collisions and catastrophic injuries, resulting in burdensome medical bills, disabilities, or even deaths. The night driving accident attorneys at Labrum Law are dedicated to helping victims of car accidents in Tennessee pursue appropriate compensation and hold negligent parties liable for the injuries and damages caused by their actions. We offer free consultations, so consider calling (615) 338-9500 to learn more about your legal rights.
How Common Are Night Driving Accidents?
A nighttime driving accident can happen at any time after it starts to get dark, from dusk to dawn. Despite the fact that there are fewer motor vehicles on the road at night, there are more dangers and contributing factors that increase the risk of night driving accidents. Some of those risks include drowsy driving, limited vision at night, and impaired drivers. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), even though only about 25 percent of driving occurs at night, nighttime driving accounts for nearly half of all fatalities involving passenger vehicles. Thus, the risk of a fatal accident is three times higher during nighttime hours than during the day.
Common Causes of Night Driving Accidents
There are dozens of factors that contribute to nighttime driving accidents. However, some of the most common causes of accidents that occur at night are:
- Drowsy driving—Motorists may experience drowsiness and fatigue when driving at night. According to the Sleep Foundation, the effects of drowsy driving are similar to the impairments caused by driving under the influence of alcohol. A drowsy driver may have a slower reaction time as well as impaired judgment, coordination, and decision-making abilities.
- Limited visibility—Driving at night reduces a driver's visibility. As a result, motorists may be unable to spot hazards before it is too late, not to mention that there is an increased risk of being blinded by oncoming headlights.
- Impaired driving—The vast majority of accidents involving impaired motorists occur at night because most people tend to consume alcohol at restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other establishments that serve alcohol at night. Thus, there is an increased risk of encountering an impaired motorist when driving at night.
Regardless of what causes night driving accidents, accident victims may be entitled to compensation if they can prove that the other party involved in the crash behaved negligently or recklessly. At Labrum Law, we vigorously represent victims of nighttime driving accidents throughout Tennessee and help them fight for the compensation they need to cover their medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages and losses.
Who Is Liable for a Night Driving Accident?
When people have been injured in night driving accidents, they can pursue compensation by holding a negligent party liable for the crash. When filing a personal injury claim to recover damages, an injured victim needs to prove that the other party involved in the accident was negligent. A negligence-based personal injury claim requires proof of the following four elements:
- Duty of care
All motorists owe a duty of care to the other drivers they share the road with. Drivers must operate motor vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner to avoid causing harm to other people or property. In the context of nighttime driving accidents, being prudent means using headlights, maintaining a safe speed and distance, and obeying other traffic laws. For example, if a motorist causes a night driving accident because he or she fell asleep behind the wheel, the injured victim can hold the motorist liable by proving a breach of the duty of care.
Precautions To Take To Avoid Nighttime Driving Accidents
Due to the presence of unique dangers during nighttime driving, motorists who drive at night must take certain precautions to minimize the risk of accidents:
- The windshield must be clean to improve visibility
- The headlights and brake lights must function properly
- Drivers should refrain from driving if they are experiencing symptoms of fatigue or drowsiness
- When planning to drive at night, it is critical to get plenty of rest before embarking on the trip
- Drivers should drive slower than usual due to the limited visibility at night (just because there are fewer vehicles does not mean that it is safe to exceed the speed limit)
- Drivers should watch out for impaired drivers on the road and stay away from vehicles that are moving in a reckless manner, such as swerving, weaving, or zigzagging
- Drivers should exercise extra caution at intersections due to an increased risk of encountering drowsy, distracted, impaired, or speeding motorists who disobey or do not notice stop signs or traffic lights
Sometimes, a driver may not be able to avoid a night driving accident even when taking the necessary precautions. When an accident occurs, victims may want to obtain assistance from a knowledgeable attorney to help them prove that the other driver was negligent and obtain appropriate compensation.
Night Driving Accident Attorneys at Labrum Law
A nighttime driving accident can lead to devastating consequences, including life-threatening injuries or deaths. A victim who survives the crash may be facing mounting medical bills and lost wages, not to mention the emotional trauma and physical pain. If someone else was negligent, the accident victim should not have to pay the related expenses out of pocket. The victim of the night driving accident may be entitled to compensation for his or her damages and losses caused by the negligent party. At Labrum Law, we represent victims of night driving accidents and other types of collisions throughout the state of Tennessee. Consider scheduling a free case evaluation by calling (615) 338-9500.