Night Driving Accident Statistics

Driving at night presents more hazards and dangers than daytime driving. Without sunlight, drivers must rely on street lights and headlights to achieve visibility.

Low visibility often leads to dangerous situations and collisions, which is why nightime driving is one of the top causes of car accidents. But many other issues also cause traffic accidents at night.

These include unrestrained drivers and passengers, alcohol intake, and speeding. All these driving hazards are more prevalent during evening hours.

Below, we will discuss some of the most significant night driving accident statistics. We will also examine several tips to help you stay safe while driving at night. 

Evening Hazards and Night Driving Accident Statistics

Driving at night is a very different experience than driving during the day. Reduced visibility means motorists have less time to react to their surroundings. 

Potential nighttime road hazards include:

  • Traffic lights and signs
  • Construction signage
  • Oncoming vehicles
  • Pedestrians
  • Bicyclists
  • And more

Driving at night increases the risk of crashes for all motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, the nighttime fatality crash rate is three times as high as daytime driving.

There are many reasons for this disparity. The lack of visibility at night is only one cause. 

Research has found that drivers tend to engage in more dangerous driving behaviors during the nighttime hours.   


Drivers tend to travel faster than the speed limit more often at night. 

One year, those killed in speeding accidents accounted for 21% of all fatalities during the day. At night, on the other hand, those in fatal speeding collisions accounted for 37% of all traffic deaths.

Driving faster than the legal limit always increases the risk of a crash. But when combined with low visibility, speeding is especially hazardous. Also See: The Dangers of Speeding While Driving

Seat Belt Use

Rates of seat belt use are lower for nighttime drivers and passengers. That also leads to higher rates of fatal crashes. 

Research from the NHTSA for 2005 showed that 58% of passengers in fatal daytime crashes wore seatbelts. Those killed in nighttime collisions only wore seatbelts at a rate of 30%.

Seatbelts are one of the most effective tools to ensure a safe trip.  Also See: 10 Seat Belt Safety Facts & Statistics You Should Know

Blood-Alcohol Concentration

Levels of alcohol use are higher at night generally. That is true for those operating motor vehicles, as well. 

NHTSA studies have found that nighttime vehicle fatalities involve alcohol 60% of the time. Fatal daytime crashes only include alcohol at a rate of 18%.

While people typically think of low visibility as the most dangerous element of nighttime driving, this is only part of the story. Decreased visibility and reaction opportunities do make nighttime driving more dangerous.

But studies show that motorists and passengers engage in fewer traffic safety practices at night. That is why it is so important to practice safe driving during the nighttime hours. 

Tips for How to Drive Safer at Night 

Many drivers are unaware of the increased dangers that night driving presents. It is essential you know night driving accident statistics.

When you are driving after dark, it is also crucial to protect yourself and your passengers. Consider the following tips for safer night driving: 

Dim Your Dash Lights

Some vehicles have very bright dashboard lights. That can obscure your view of the road. Be sure to dim your dash lights before taking a trip at night. 

Maintain Eye Health

Many motorists forget this vital tip. Be sure to schedule routine annual eye exams. If you wear glasses, be sure that they are anti-reflective. 

Attempting to drive with an outdated eyeglasses prescription is very dangerous, especially at night. 

Clean Your Windshield

At night, streetlights and others’ headlights can reflect off streaks on a dirty windshield. These reflections can make it more challenging to see in front of your vehicle.

Take the time to clean your windshield thoroughly before driving after dark. 

Get Enough Sleep

Research has shown that driving while drowsy is as dangerous as having three alcoholic beverages. Do not drive if you have been awake for 16 or more hours. 

Be sure to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you are drowsy while driving at night, pull over and sleep. 

Drowsy drivers cause many fatal collisions. Do not let this happen to you. 

Do Not Drink and Drive

This tip should be obvious. You should never drive if you have had an alcoholic beverage. 

Almost 30 people are killed each day in alcohol-related auto accidents. Thankfully, incidents of drunk driving have steadily decreased since 2007.

Still, impaired drivers are a hazard to themselves and others, especially after dark. Night driving is much more dangerous than driving during the day under any circumstance. 

Be sure to keep these safety tips in mind when you drive at night. If you or someone you love is involved in a nighttime auto accident, do not hesitate. Contact an accomplished attorney to protect your rights.

Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side.

If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!