Based on the number of road fatalities throughout the country every day, the mere act of getting behind the wheel presents risks. While being attentive and employing defensive driving techniques is paramount, the time of day can also play an essential role in the possibility of a collision.
Regardless of outside factors, proactive steps can help, whether the sun is out or not. Those include:
- Adjust the lighting
- Ensure the instrument panel is not too bright
- Not driving while sleep-deprived or tired
- Avoid using a smartphone or other wireless electronic device
- Take breaks as needed
- Have fresh air circulating in the car
Morning commutes may be frustrating and time-consuming. However, it can also be the safest time of day to travel. Fatalities are not as likely from 6:00 am through 11:59 am. The statistic should not make drivers complacent as accidents can still happen. Commuters should allow for rush hour
Give yourself plenty of time to make the trip so you can adapt to any weather situation and ensure that you do not have to rush. Speed should be appropriate, and tailgating should be avoided.
It should be of no surprise that night driving is the most treacherous, even if there are fewer drivers on roads. Visibility is an issue, even with the improvements in headlight designs. The sun reduces color and contrast, along with diminished depth perception and peripheral vision.
Based on miles driven, fatal accidents are three times as likely as when the sun is out. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that nearly half of all fatal accidents occur in the evening hours. Various factors play a role. Driving under the influence increases, accounting for 55 percent of fatalities involving drunk drivers between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Whether the sun is shining or stars dot the sky, adapting to conditions can be the difference between getting to your destination or being involved in an accident.