New research by Evari GIS Consulting, a consulting firm based in San Diego, suggests that the number of motor vehicle accidents that happen at dawn and dusk may be inaccurately reported by authorities. Building an analysis of collisions in Tennessee between 2017 and 2020, the firm found that “88% of collisions occurring during dusk or dawn were misreported as either ‘night’ or ‘day,’ and that 20% of “collision ambient light conditions are misreported.”
These figures have significant implications. As a report by Evari notes, accurately reported nighttime collisions in the Tennessee analysis “were five times more likely to result in a fatality than daytime collisions.” The report notes further that Federal Highway Administration figures show that half of fatal accidents happen at night, despite the fact that there are fewer people—whether motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists—on the road at night. “That means the fatality rate is three times the daytime rate because only 25 percent of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) occur at night,” according to Evari.