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Can nighttime vision increase risk of an accident?

Many Texas motorists are forced to drive home from work or run errands once the sun has set. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the risk of being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident increases at night. This is due in part to the reduced amount of natural light available to drivers, as well as the blinding glare that headlights can cause when they shine in motorists’ eyes. These factors combined with motorists’ personal vision problems can lead to a very devastating situation.

According to the National Safety Council, at least 90 percent of a driver’s ability to react to other motorists on the road depends on his or her vision. Not only does the reduction of light lowers the ability to focus on objects while people are driving, but it also leads to decreased depth perception and peripheral vision. For example, people may have trouble perceiving the speed and distance of an oncoming vehicle, and may inadvertently pull out or turn in front of them.

Headlight glare is another problem that people face while navigating the nighttime roadways. When a bright line shines directly in their field of vision, it can cause temporary blindness. Drivers are encouraged to look away from bright headlights and avoid staring directly into them.

Elderly drivers may have an especially hard time at night, as they may have eye conditions that make it hard to see in the dark. This includes macular degeneration, glaucoma and problems with accommodation.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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