Only 25% of travel happens at night, but it’s also when over 50% of passenger vehicle fatalities occur. This means all drivers need to be aware of the contributors to nighttime car accidents, as well as understand why these car crashes might be more likely to lead to fatalities. Here’s what you need to know about nighttime car accidents in Indiana.
Nighttime Driving Conditions Contribute to Car Accidents
One of the biggest contributors to nighttime car accidents is low visibility. In both Greece and the United Kingdom, installing roadway lighting led to approximately a three times decrease in the severity of nighttime car accident injuries. In Indiana, driving on rural roads that are not lit may greatly increase the chances of a nighttime car accident.
If a driver is not using headlights or does not have adequate bulbs in the headlights, that could be considered negligence. If a city or county knows a certain span of the road is especially dangerous at night and frequently is a scene of accidents, they may have a duty to establish lighting in that area when risk is known.
Drowsy Driving Accidents in Indiana
Fatigued driving is another major cause of Indiana traffic accidents after dark. Eleven million people admitted to the National Sleep Foundation in a poll that they have caused an accident or almost caused an accident by falling asleep while driving.
It is important to know that drowsiness has as much of an effect on the body as alcohol. After being awake for 18 hours, the effect of fatigue will make you drive like you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%. After 24 hours of no sleep, the effect increases to be like a BAC of 0.10% A 2016 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic and Safety also found that if you have gotten even one hour of sleep less than usual the night before, your risk of being in a car crash goes up.
Indiana is not a state where fatigued or drowsy driving is classifiable as a misdemeanor, but in many states drowsy drivers can be charged with a crime if they cause injury or accident. Even though this may not be a criminal offense in our state, anyone injured by a drowsy driver in Indiana should contact an auto injury law firm to discuss the circumstances.
Intoxicated Driving Increases After Dark
The rate of drunk drivers involved in fatal car crashes is 3.6 times higher at night than during the day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Fatal and incapacitating auto crash injuries in Indiana are generally most likely to occur between midnight and 4 am, whether or not drugs or alcohol are involved. In Indiana, nearly 3 out of every 4 people killed in an alcohol-related collision is male. However, positive drug test results were more likely than alcohol to show up in a blood test of impaired drivers of both genders.
A new drug causing driving impairment is THC. NHTSA reports that drivers under the influence of THC on weekends have increased 48% since 2007, from 8% of drivers to 12% of drivers. While THC is not legal in Indiana, neighboring states have made the substance legal. This means drivers under the influence of legal THC can cross state lines, as well as drivers on the road who may be using the substance illegally in Indiana.
Regardless of the drugs or alcohol involved, driving impaired is an instance when one individual’s poor decision making can have life-altering effects for others. In cases where someone is wrongfully killed by drunk driving or driving on drugs, some parties may wish to consult with an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer to discuss options.
Distracted Driving Injury Attorney in Indiana
Distracted driving means anything like talking, eating, putting on makeup, or anything that takes your attention off the road. At night these distractions only contribute to the existing natural challenges of lower light and visibility, and perhaps even tiredness. But by far the most dangerous and lethal type of distracted driving is texting and driving. People who text while driving are 23% more likely to crash.
This is one reason that it is illegal to hold your cell phone while driving in the state of Indiana as of July 1, 2020. Texting while driving is already illegal in our state, but the law is difficult to enforce. If a phone is mounted to your dashboard or in hands-free mode, that use is legal. You can also use the device in your hand at a red light but cannot drive while holding it. First-time offenders can be fined up to $500 with the penalty of revoking a driver’s license for repeat offenders.
Driving at night requires that every driver follow the rules of the road in Indiana and be aware, rested, and responsible behind the wheel. Every driver has a duty to care about the others on the road. When one driver is not meeting these obligations late at night, the results are more likely to be fatal or result in permanent life-altering injury. If you have been in an Indiana auto accident and believe the negligence of the other driver played a role, contact the Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell. From listening to your story to fighting for you in court, we’re your advocates.