Inexperienced drivers always pose a greater risk to you than experienced — and generally older — drivers. They simply will make more mistakes. Like any other skill, driving takes time to learn. It takes time to do it safely. Those who lack experience put people in danger, but it’s unavoidable. They have to drive to get the experience they need to do it safely.
Another important thing to note is that night driving is more dangerous for everyone, as well. Studies show that accident statistics go up after dark. Some of the reasons for this include:
- Shorter reaction times
- Decreased visibility
- Increased instances of drunk driving
- More drowsy drivers on the road
Even for someone in a perfect state of mind, night driving can become difficult. For a tired or drunk driver, the issues compound each other.
When the two come together
Now that you know how these two factors influence drivers, let’s consider what happens when the two intersect. Some of the most dangerous drivers on the road are young, inexperienced drivers who go out at night.
The proof is in the numbers. From 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., new teen drivers only put up a mere 14% of the total miles they drive in a given year. This is for all those who are 16 or 17 years old. They drive the vast majority of their miles during the day.
Even so, if you look at fatal car accidents from this age group, over the same exact time period, you’ll see that nearly a third of all deadly accidents — 32% — happen at this time.
If night driving did not increase risks, 14% of the miles traveled would lead to 14% of the deadly accidents. Instead, the fatal car crash rate for teenage drivers more than doubles. It’s very telling and shows you exactly what risks people face.
What should you do?
Your first inclination is probably to reduce the risks in any way you can. Maybe you’re certainly not a young, inexperienced driver, but you know you could get hit by one any time you get behind the wheel. To stay safe, you want to avoid these dangerous late-night hours whenever you can.
However, as you can see from the statistics, even that doesn’t fully protect you. The other 68% of deadly accidents caused by teen drivers happen during the day. The night is more dangerous in terms of rate, but the daytime driving takes more lives.
As a result, the best thing to do is to make sure you are well aware of all of your legal rights if you get seriously injured in an accident or if a loved one loses their life.