Pedestrians should remain aware of roadway risk at any time of day. However, pedestrians out after dark face much greater risk than those walking during the daylight. What should pedestrians know about the risk they face after sunset?
How common are pedestrian accidents after dark?
Despite the fact that around one quarter of travel occurs after sundown, fatal pedestrian accidents are much more common at night. In fact, around three in four pedestrian deaths occurred at night in 2020, and that number has risen by 41 percent since 2014.
What makes nighttime so dangerous for pedestrians?
One significant factor that makes darker conditions dangerous for pedestrians is the limited visibility that both pedestrians and drivers experience. While streetlights and headlights can help drivers see some key details, that clear visibility is often limited to small areas. This can leave drivers unable to see pedestrians in darker areas or unable to react in time when hazards arise outside the area illuminated by their headlights.
Another important factor for pedestrians to consider after dark is the risk of drowsy or drunk drivers. Fatigue and impairment due to alcohol can both limit drivers’ reaction times, impact their ability to pay attention and make them unable to respond quickly when danger arises. Unfortunately, these challenges can also mean that drivers are not able to respond appropriately to pedestrians.
Pedestrian accidents at any time of day can lead to serious or even catastrophic injuries, and care for these injuries can be costly. Injured people should explore all of their options for support in the aftermath of an accident.