In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence is prohibited. Driving at night, however, has no such restrictions. This may be somewhat unfortunate, considering night driving can actually contribute to crashes and can make it even more dangerous when inhibited drivers are on the road.
First, American Addiction Centers takes a look at the effects alcohol has on the body. This includes the impairment of speech and balance, an inability to focus, difficulty with hand-eye coordination, and problems with vision. Vision-related issues can include blurring, trouble tracking motion, and blind spots on the peripheral vision. A person may even be unable to react to things in the periphery entirely. This, coupled with problems with attention and wakefulness, can make it hard to see and process what is seen.
Taking a look at the National Safety Council, they speak of the dangers particular to night driving. This includes a lot of visual interference, such as bright lights from oncoming vehicles. The darkness also generally restricts a driver’s range of vision to roughly 500 feet around the car at all times, making it hard to spot sudden obstacles that may need to be avoided. Reflective boards can become disorienting, and often times drivers will experience fatigue that makes concentration difficult.
Many of these issues will overlap as soon as a driver who has consumed even a small amount of alcohol gets on the road. Vision will suffer, concentration will suffer, and drivers will often find themselves in situations where they aren’t able to react quickly enough to sudden dangers that appear before them. Together, this can create a doubly dangerous scenario for all drivers on the road.