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According to data published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a disproportionate number of fatal car accidents occur at night. This is primarily attributed to the fact that the brain’s ability to process information is much slower when there are low luminance and low contrast targets. Studies have also revealed that this longer reaction time translates into much longer stopping distances. Unfortunately, even those who have poor eyesight and are aware of their limitations still choose to drive at night, which can have tragic consequences for others on the road who are put at risk of serious injury. If you were injured in an accident at night and believe that the low light levels caused the crash, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you file a claim against the at-fault party.

Night Driving and Injury Statistics

Although most of us have become so used to driving that we do it without thinking, operating a vehicle is actually a complex task that requires the ability to adjust to constantly changing environments. This ability to react quickly can be affected by a variety of factors, including lighting. In fact, several studies have revealed that the number and severity of car accidents, averaged across a number of different road types, is doubled at night. The risk is even greater on roads with no lighting, as injury severity is almost three times higher in these environments.

Why is Driving at Night More Dangerous?

There are two types of photoreceptors in the eye, referred to rods and cones. Although both are responsible for transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain, the former, which have more limited capabilities, solely process low contrast images in dim lighting, while the latter operates at higher luminance levels and are responsible for processing motion perception and other complex information. Because of the lack of light at night, low contrast images are processed much more slowly, as a result of which, it becomes much more likely that a driver will underestimate the speed of other cars. This inability to process motion perception can lead to reduced reaction times and longer stopping distances. Although artificial lighting minimizes these problems, it does not eliminate them.

Risks for Teenagers

According to a national ten-year study published in 2010, nighttime driving, while dangerous for everyone, is the most dangerous risk a teenage driver can take. In fact, driving at night is more likely to result in death for a teenage driver than speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt, or drinking. This is due partially to driver inexperience and slower reaction times, as well as the higher likelihood that teenagers will drive while fatigued or distracted.

Get the Legal Representation You Deserve

If you were injured in a Las Vegas, Nevada nighttime driving accident, you may qualify for compensation, especially if the at-fault party was aware that he or she already suffered from poor vision. However, befor