When the sun sets in Montana, cars and trucks continue to fill the roads. People traveling home from work or school, running errands or going out for the night navigate the nighttime roadways. While most streets are brightly lit, people have a harder time seeing in the dark. This can make it difficult to drive safely on the road, and could put other drivers in danger. According to the National Safety Council, fatal automobile accidents are three times more likely during the day than at night.
One reason this is true is that people experience decreased visibility at night, especially those over the age of 50. The NSC reported that once a driver hits 50 years old, they often need at least twice as much light as a 30-year-old to see well. Eye conditions, like cataracts, and bright headlights can make the problem even worse. Without the presence of natural light, the eyes have trouble differentiating the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles. Poor depth perception, peripheral vision and loss of central vision can happen when people drive in the dark.
The darkness can make it hard to see certain road hazards, such as objects in the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, crosswalks, stop signs and other drivers. Furthermore, there are more drunk drivers on the road at night as opposed to during the day. Other distractions, including cellphones, talking passengers, kids and bad weather conditions, can also be more dangerous at night. It is best for drivers to put their full concentration on the road and be ready to react if something should happen.