Nighttime Driving Risks in Kansas: How to Stay Safe After Dark

As the sun sets earlier during the winter months, drivers in Kansas face increased risks on the roads. Reduced visibility, fatigue, and the potential for impaired driving create hazardous conditions that demand extra caution and vigilance. With the latest statistics from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealing that more than 75% of all roadside fatalities occur when it is dark, it’s crucial for Kansas drivers to understand the challenges of nighttime driving and take proactive steps to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road.

1.      Visibility Challenges

Driving at night presents a significant visibility challenge. Reduced illumination makes it more difficult to see possible hazards, such as pedestrians, animals, or debris on the road. Additionally, the glare from oncoming headlights can temporarily impair a driver’s vision, increasing the risk of accidents. To combat these challenges, drivers should ensure their headlights are properly adjusted and keep their windshields clean for optimal visibility.

2.      Fatigue and Impaired Driving

Fatigue and impaired driving are major contributors to nighttime accidents. After a long day, drivers may experience drowsiness, slower reaction times, and impaired decision-making abilities. Additionally, the consumption of alcohol or drugs can severely impair a driver’s judgment and reflexes, posing a significant risk to themselves and others on the road. Drivers should be vigilant about recognizing signs of fatigue and never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

3.      ‘Move Over Law’ and Roadside Safety

According to AAA, nearly 1,500 of the 2,000 roadside deaths that occurred between 2017 and 2021 happened after dark. In Kansas, 75% of the 28 roadside crash deaths involved individuals outside a disabled vehicle during dawn, dusk, or nighttime hours. The Move Over law requires drivers to reduce their speed and move over a lane when coming up to emergency vehicles, tow trucks, or disabled motorists on the side of the road. Adhering to this law can help prevent tragic roadside accidents and protect first responders and stranded motorists.

4.      Stay Safe and Know the Steps

To stay safe during nighttime driving in Kansas, follow these important tips:

  1. Reduce your speed and increase the following distance to account for reduced visibility and reaction times.
  2. Avoid distractions such as using your phone or adjusting the radio.
  3. Keep your headlights properly aimed, and use high beams when appropriate.
  4. If you feel fatigued, pull over to a safe area and rest or switch drivers.
  5. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If an accident does occur, remain calm and follow these tips:

  1. Move your vehicle to a safer location, if possible, and turn on hazard lights.
  2. If anyone is injured, call for an ambulance.
  3. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved.
  4. Gather evidence of the scene with photos or videos if it’s safe to do so.
  5. Seek medical attention, even for minor injuries.
  6. Obtain legal advice – In the event of a nighttime accident involving injuries, consider seeking legal support to safeguard your rights and pursue fair compensation. Our helpful team at Monge & Associates, with headquarters in 32 locations across 19 states, such as Kansas, Ohio, and Maryland, can provide experienced legal representation.

Nighttime driving in Kansas presents unique challenges that demand heightened awareness and caution from all drivers. By knowing the risks related to reduced visibility, fatigue, and impaired driving and by following safety guidelines such as the Move Over law, drivers can significantly reduce the likelihood of collisions and fatalities after dark.

While this may be true, accidents still occur. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident when dark, contact us at Monge & Associates for a free consultation. You can visit us at one of our offices or call us on (888) 477-0597.