- Drunk drivers are more common at night than during the day. In the NHTSA’s analysis, about 60% of pedestrian fatalities were associated with alcohol. Pedestrians themselves may also be under the influence of alcohol, which can impair judgment and reduce reaction times.
- Bright lights from buildings and other cars can, ironically, make less well-lit features of the roadway, including pedestrians, harder to see.
- Night worsens the effects of environmental factors, like rain and roadway debris, that can affect a driver’s control of a vehicle, visibility, and other factors that can contribute to accidents.
- Many drivers experience reduced acuity of vision at night. Compromised depth perception, blurry vision, and trouble with differentiating light and dark, can all reduce a driver’s ability to quickly respond to changing conditions.
Las Vegas is a famously bright city at night. Yet being a pedestrian at night is considerably more dangerous than during the day. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 74% of nation-wide pedestrian fatalities in 2015 took place at night. The same report found that 76% of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, and 72% happened to pedestrians who were not in an intersection. Nevada had 2.28 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents, placing it on the high end of that dubious statistic when compared to other states. There are several reasons why the night is especially dangerous for urban pedestrians: