Believe it or not, studies have found that more than 50 percent of all fatal collisions happen after the sun goes down.

Your first instinct may be to assume that this is normal, given that nighttime hours accounting for a significant portion of the day. However, they typically do not account for 50 percent of the day, and the amount of miles being driven after the sun goes down is substantially lower than the amount of miles driven throughout the rest of the day.

Vehicle miles driven is really the best way to look at the odds of being in a crash. A review of statistics shows that the amount of deadly accidents at night is massively disproportionate to the number of miles driven. Why are people so much more likely to be killed after dark?

There are many potential reasons. Visibility is reduced, even with modern headlights, making some accidents harder to avoid. Some studies have found that the distance drivers need to stop significantly increases during the night, and this has been linked to increased reaction times.

Steps can be taken to fight back against this problem, such as installing roadside lighting. Researchers have noticed that the longer summer days, with more natural lighting, often lead to a decline in accidents. This same trend was noted in areas where overhead lighting has been installed.

Of course, all of this doesn’t even take into account the higher rates of drunk driving and drowsy driving that could impact accident totals at night.

No matter the reason, it’s clear that fatal accidents are common after dark. It’s important for the family members of those who have been killed to know what legal rights they may have to compensation.

Source: NCBI, “Road traffic casualties: understanding the night-time death toll,” S Plainis, accessed Sep. 25, 2017