Are Minnesota Drivers More Likely To Get into a Serious Car Crash at Night?

bearded young male driver in car at nightYou may not be surprised to learn that 50 percent of traffic fatalities occur at night, according to the National Safety Council. This statistic may sound counterintuitive, as there are fewer cars on the road after the sun goes down.

However, there are unique risks when driving at night. Below, TSR Injury Law’s experienced attorneys discuss the dangers of nighttime driving and how these dangers increase the risk of serious, potentially fatal car crashes.

If you were injured in a crash that happened at night, our firm is here to help you seek full compensation for your medical care and other damages you may have suffered. Our legal services come with no upfront costs, and an initial consultation is always free.

TSR Injury Law. More than $1 billion recovered. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What Are the Dangers of Driving at Night?

These are some of the main reasons why nighttime driving can be more dangerous than daytime driving:

Decreased Visibility

Simply put, it is harder to see things in the dark, including vehicles and other potential hazards. This reduced visibility affects your reaction time and inhibits driver’s chances of avoiding a crash.

These are many reasons why drivers are advised to increase their following distance, slow down, and take their time when deciding if it is safe to make a turn in front of oncoming traffic.

It is also harder to see road signs and landmarks that can help drivers determine where they are going. This is why a lack of visibility at night may often result in sudden stops and unexpected turns.

Increased Presence of Drunk Drivers

According to Minnesota Crash Facts 2020, 46 percent of alcohol-related crashes happen between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. As you could have guessed, this is because there are more drunk drivers on the road at night.

Drunk drivers have impaired vision, reaction time and judgment. When you combine these added risk factors with reduced nighttime visibility, you have a recipe for a traffic disaster.

Impaired drivers are more at risk of driving the wrong way, such as entering a highway off-ramp or crossing the center line into oncoming traffic, putting responsible drivers in danger.

It’s important to keep in mind that while driving at night, you are more likely to encounter drunk drivers on weekends as 56 percent of alcohol-related crashes in Minnesota happen on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Increased Presence of Drowsy Drivers

Many drivers you share the road with at night are tired. They may feel exhausted because of a long day at work or because they did not enough sleep the night before.

Many people who drive at night may suffer from chronic fatigue due to sleep deprivation, especially those with sleep apnea, insomnia, or other medical conditions.

If you get behind the wheel after midnight but before dawn, you may be sharing the road with people who work night shifts. No matter how hard these workers try, their bodies may be unable to adjust to this schedule and may be struggling to get enough sleep.

Drowsy drivers may be more at risk for:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Sideswipes
  • Wrong-way accidents
  • Head-on crashes
  • Intersection crashes

Speeding Drivers

Speeding is often a result of distraction, impairment by drugs or alcohol, drowsiness, or simply reckless behavior. Speeding gives all drivers in the area less time to react to hazardous situations, especially at night when visibility is impaired by the darkness. If a reckless driver makes a dangerous maneuver at high speed, other drivers may have less time to react to avoid a collision.

What if I Get Injured in a Nighttime Car Crash?

If you get injured in a nighttime car crash that you think was caused by another driver’s negligence, you might be right. Drivers have a legal duty to take proper precautions to lower the risk of a crash, especially at night. When they fail to uphold this duty and a crash results, they could be held liable for damages.

However, crash victims who decide to seek compensation for their damages will need to be able to prove the other driver’s negligence. Even seemingly straightforward cases can be challenging to prove. That said, crash victims can be proactive and take steps to improve their chances of securing full compensation for damages by contacting the trusted attorneys at TSR Injury Law.

Call 9-1-1

You should always report car crashes to the police, even if you are not sure you sustained injuries. When the police come to the scene, they can complete a report that helps to prove you were involved in a collision.

If you suspect the other driver is drunk or fatigued, tell the officer when he or she asks you to explain what happened. If the officer suspects drunk driving, he or she may conduct a sobriety test. If the police arrest the other driver for drunk driving, it may be easier to prove liability for your damages.

Get to the Hospital

You need to document your injuries as soon as possible. Seeking medical care right away helps you in two ways. First, it prioritizes and protects your health, and secondly, since your visit will be documented, it helps to connect your injuries to the crash. Waiting to seek treatment could delay the recovery process or even put your health at added risk.

Contact a Lawyer Right Away

If you were injured in a collision and you need medical care, you should not count on the insurance company to provide full compensation. This is especially true for crash victims with severe injuries. Insurance companies are not your friend and will actively work to minimize what they owe you.

The experienced lawyers at TSR Injury Law can help you seek full compensation for your damages. We have decades of experience helping motor vehicle accident victims achieve favorable results, including in the courtroom.

It may not be easy to determine the chain of events leading up to a nighttime car crash. In addition to the challenges of reduced visibility, it is also possible that the at-fault driver may lie or leave out important details to try to avoid liability.

Our experienced lawyers know how to gather detailed evidence no matter when the crash occurred. We can also bring in experts when needed.

Reducing Your Risk of a Crash After the Sun Goes Down

There are several steps you can take to help lower your risk of a nighttime crash:

  • Slow down to give yourself more time to react to danger
  • Leave more space in front of your car to lower the risk of a rear-end crash
  • Exercise more caution when making turns in front of approaching traffic
  • Avoid distractions, such as your smartphone, the radio or conversations with passengers
  • Dim the lights on your dashboard as it can help improve night vision
  • If you are too tired to drive, get off the road
  • Avoid driving during times when you would normally be asleep

Call Us Today To Discuss Your Post-Crash Legal Options

Do you know the benefits of hiring an experienced lawyer after a car crash?

Victims who hire lawyers often obtain more compensation than those who deal with the insurance company themselves. This is not just because a lawyer can file a lawsuit if the insurance company does not offer enough compensation. A lawyer can also manage each step of the process, making sure not to miss important details, like filing deadlines or critical pieces of evidence.

TSR Injury Law. Zero Upfront Costs. More than $1 billion recovered. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

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