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Accident Reconstruction - Dusk/Dawn/Night Considerations

November 21st 2022

It is no secret that driving during dusk/dawn/night (DDN) conditions places increased demands on the human visual system. When dealing with a DDN case, below are some factors that the Accident Reconstructionist needs to consider.

At night, the human visual system has a reduced capacity for distinguishing between objects in the visual field.

Contrast sensitivity is what enables a driver to distinguish objects at night, so in order to be seen at night, objects must be sufficiently brighter or darker than their backgrounds, and they must be conspicuous. 

Sufficient intensity is required for an object to be identified at night, as well as for a driver to process this information. If the stimulus is not strong enough, the driver would either not respond, or the response time would be longer. 

It is not uncommon given the above conditions coupled with high beam glare that a driver may fail to react until after having entered a point of no escape.

Other factors the Accident Reconstructionist must consider in DDN cases include (but are not limited to) understanding the phases of twilight, moon phasing, illumination, expectancy violations, the first point of possible perception, and the first point of possible perception of a situational hazard. The expert should also have experience, training, and/or education in Human Factors when working on a DDN case.

If you have a DDN case you would like to speak to about with our Human Factors and Accident Reconstruction teams, contact us today.


LISKE is an established leader in the field of accident and injury reconstruction with over thirty years of customer trust. We are dedicated to providing a principled and unparalleled customer experience and continue to strive for excellence, acting with integrity, thoroughness, and accountability. The high-level approach we take to each assignment ensures that no element of causation is overlooked, and no stone is left unturned. Our multi-disciplined team of scientists, engineers, and ACTAR accredited reconstruction experts prepare a comprehensive, objective, science-based analysis of each accident, powered by next-generation technology. A LISKE accident and injury reconstruction provides a foundational pillar you can count on, whether as a building block to causation, or in the rebuttal to an unacceptable, misinformed, and overreached opposition conclusion. Plan your litigation strategy and achieve the best resolution for your client with LISKE Accident and Injury Experts.