A comparison of accidents during daylight and darkness was made for both rural and urban roads. Accident rates on all types of rural roads were higher during darkness than during daylight. Critical accident rates during darkness for various types of roads were calculated. In urban areas, a larger percentage of accidents occurred on wet pavements during darkness than during daylight, but there were no significant differences for rural roads. No significant difference was found between average speeds during conditions of daylight and darkness. On rural roads, imposition of the 55-mph (24.6-m/s) speed limit resulted in a reduction in accident rates for both daylight and darkness. However, there were changes in the percentages of wet-pavement accidents on rural roads. For the entire rural system, there was a decrease in the percentages of wet-pavement accidents during daylight and an increase during darkness.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 471

Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Bureau of Highways. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.