The night is a more dangerous time for driving in general. People have reduced visibility which can affect the decisions they make at the wheel. Drivers at night may be more susceptible to fatigue and maybe more likely to have had a few drinks before getting behind the wheel.
Drivers don’t just have a greater risk of getting into any kind of crash when the sun goes down. Their risk of a side underride collision with a commercial truck specifically goes up. Why are side underrides in particular a bigger risk when it’s dark outside?
Even with built-in reflectors, trailers are hard to see in the dark
At night, drivers will look for the telltale signs of another vehicle as they approach intersections or plan their next move. It will be taillights and headlights that alert drivers to the presence of another vehicle nearby, especially on roads without a lot of overhead lighting of traffic, it
Unfortunately, with big trucks, there can be a big gap between those two sets of lights. Drivers may have a hard time gauging the speed of a truck when they can’t identify it in the dark. They may also not realize that the lights they see belong to one vehicle instead of two separate vehicles. The result of such misjudgments in the dark can have tragic consequences.
Trucking companies and owner-operators could help reduce these late-night crashes. Side underride guards, lights and investment in visibility could help prevent many side underride crashes. Recognizing the risk factors could help you avoid a truck crash that could cause catastrophic injuries and damage to your vehicle.