When the sun sets in Maryland, many people head home for the evening. A number of people, however, still navigate the roadways, run errands, come home from work or go out with friends. Although driving in the dark may not seem much different than daytime driving, people face a greater risk of being killed in a motor vehicle accident at night. According to the National Safety Council, deadly traffic accidents occur three times more often at night than during the day.
There are several reasons why nighttime driving is more dangerous. The lack of natural light makes it difficult for people to see. It is hard for people to judge the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles at night. Furthermore, people often have trouble detecting objects in the road and may have a slower response time to pedestrians, crosswalks and bad weather conditions. This is especially true for elderly drivers who require three times more light to see properly. Mature drivers may also have trouble accommodating to objects and may suffer from the onset of visual conditions that make it hard to see, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Headlight blindness is another problem drivers face at night. The bright glare of oncoming headlights can cause temporary blindness in drivers who are attempting to see the road. There are also more drunk drivers on the road at night.
While motorists should drive cautiously at all times, they should be even more aware at night. All motorists should refrain from using distractive devices and avoid looking directly into the headlights of oncoming traffic.