Night Driving Auto Accidents
Half of all car accidents occur at night, even though we spend less overall driving time during this period. Furthermore, these crashes are three times more likely to be fatal than those that take place during daylight hours. A Rhode Island accident attorney can help you seek rightful compensation if you were hurt in a motor vehicle crash at night. Additionally, if a beloved family member was killed in a night driving accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Attorney David Tapalian has decades of personal injury experience in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and can help you get the compensation you deserve after being hit by a reckless driver. Tapalian Law will handle the logistics of your personal injury claim while you take the time to recover after an accident. Our firm works on a continency basis, which means we charge no fees until you win, and we offer a free, no obligation consultation. Call us at 401-552-5000, or contact us online to find out how Tapalian Law can help you.Common Causes of Accidents at Night
There are many reasons, and causes, that explain why driving is much more dangerous once the sun goes down.
- Drunk Driving. Driving while impaired is more likely to occur at night especially when a person has recently attended a gathering, celebrated at a party, or dined at a restaurant, and drunk alcohol or used another type of substance such as marijuana. Between midnight and 3:00 a.m. is when the highest likelihood of a drunk driving accident occurs. Specifically, 31% of all drunk driving accidents occur on Saturday nights. Other substances can affect driving behavior including drug misuse, whether recreational or those that are legally prescribed. A RI injury lawyer can help you if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver in Rhode Island.
- Fatigued Driving. It’s obvious that most people are more tired in the late evening than during the day, and this fatigue can result in decreased reaction times and awareness on the roads. Drivers may fall asleep behind the wheel resulting in the vehicle travelling without anyone in control. Even if a drowsy driver stays awake, their impairments and reaction times are similar to those of someone drinking alcohol. In addition, a number of over-the-counter medications include drowsiness as a side effect and can impair a driver’s ability to sustain focus on the road.
Certain occupations are especially prone to drowsy driving, such as long-haul truck drivers, medical workers, and shift workers, who may work long or irregular hours that aren’t conducive to typical sleep cycles.
- Decreased Visibility. When the road is dark, a motorist can’t see as far ahead and it’s especially difficult to see objects heading toward you from a distance. A person who suffers from certain conditions, like an eye disorder, may have increased difficulty of seeing in dark light. As people age, the elderly are more susceptible to diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts that can make it challenging to see at night. Although turning on high beams can help up to 500 feet in front of the vehicle, it leaves one unclear what is further ahead in the distance.
- Construction. Due to lighter traffic, construction companies often choose to work at night, increasing the amount of large equipment and trucks on the road. There are more detours, lane merges, and signs to follow that can confuse drivers, especially with reduced visibility, and result in more crashes. Construction workers on the roads are particularly vulnerable and motorists need to be extra cautious to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Workers hurt on the job should consult an attorney to protect their legal rights.
- Headlights. When other vehicles are using their headlights, specifically high beams, to see the road better, a motorist in the opposite direction can be temporarily blinded by the light shining toward them. If this happens, drivers are encouraged to quickly look at the right side of the road, toward the white line, until the light is no longer shining in their eye and they can again see clearly.
- Traffic. Rush hour traffic is heaviest from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. During Daylight Savings Time, the sun sets before heavy traffic begins to slow down. With more cars on the road, and a decreased ability to see them, accidents are even more likely to occur.
Rhode Island requires newly licensed drivers to train with 10 hours of night driving before they are eligible to receive their driver’s license. According to the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicle’s Driver's Manual, motor vehicle operators need to use their headlights whenever the sun is down, during weather conditions such as snow, rain, and fog, and if one cannot clearly see more than 500 feet ahead. When using high beams at night, a driver must dim them if they are immediately passing or following another car at less than or equal to 200 meters. If a night driving accident occurred due to a driver’s failure to follow these rules, a car accident lawyer can speak to you about the potential of your case.Pedestrian Accidents at Night
Even more difficult than noticing another motor vehicle at night is the ability to see a person present on the road as a pedestrian. When a car strikes a pedestrian there are factors to consider when deciding who is the at-fault party. As a pedestrian walking the dog or jogging at night, you will want to take safety precautions to increase your visibility to drivers, such as wearing bright clothing or using a flashlight. Other factors that come into play include whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and if they were speeding or otherwise breaking the law. Weather conditions and lighting on the roadway are additional considerations.Consult a Rhode Island Attorney After Your Night Driving Accident
If you were involved in a Rhode Island night driving accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Tapalian Law. Attorney David Tapalian is qualified to help clients in RI, MA, and FL, and is available for questions and concerns seven days a week, including evenings. With office locations in Providence, Warwick, Seekonk, and Fort Lauderdale, we are easily accessible to our clients and offer flexible availability to account for your busy schedule and work hours. The personal injury experts at Tapalian Law will make sure your needs are put first and will aggressively negotiate with the insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 401-552-5000, or use our easy, online form to schedule your free consultation today.