The winter is the most dangerous time of the year to drive. When winter arrives in eastern North Carolina, the roads become more dangerous for those driving on them. One of the main reasons for this is because there is an increase in nighttime driving, due to the early sunset. During this season there is also an increased possibility of bad weather which could lead to poor road conditions. The combination of these two factors create the “perfect storm” to more accidents in North Carolina roadways.
Nationwide statistics from the National Safety Council shows that the most fatal vehicle crashes occur from 4-7 p.m. and 12-6 a.m. You may wonder, why is that? Well, several reasons include, reduced visibility, increased driver fatigue, and an increased chance of encountering an impaired driver on the roadways.
Driver Visibility is Greatly Reduced
It’s known that once the sun sets, a driver’s ability to see the road ahead of them and their surroundings decreases tremendously. Even though cars are equipped with low-beams to help provide more visibility, those lights only illuminate 250 feet ahead. And, high-beam headlights only provide you with 500 feet of visibility. Although that may sound like enough distance, if a car is traveling at 60 miles per hour, a person only has about 5.6 seconds to stop if the high-beams show something in their path and about 2.8 seconds if you are using the low-beams.
Increased Chances of Driver Fatigue
Of course, drivers become more fatigued when they are driving after a hard, long day at work or late into the night. This is even more pronounced during winter commutes because there is more traveling in the dark versus summer months. Friday nights are even more dangerous because individuals are driving faster than normal to get home and begin their weekend plans.
More Impaired Drivers on the Road
You may expect that the already dangerous 12-6 a.m. time frame becomes even more dangerous on Saturdays and Sundays. The reason is because people are leaving bars and parties, and some get behind the wheel after they’ve had too much alcohol to drink. More than 30 people die every weekend due to a vehicle accident involving an impaired driver, a very alarming statistic.
This blog is for general educational information and is not intended to provide legal advice. If you’d like to speak with one of our attorneys, contact Hardee, Massey & Blodgett at 252-378-2525 for a free consultation.