Step-In-The-Dark Rule Law and Legal Definition

Step in the dark rule is a principle of torts law that one who enters a totally unfamiliar area in the darkness is not ordinarily justified in proceeding without first ascertaining whether there are obstacles to safe progress. A person has a duty to prudently observe the conditions that surround him/her and to act reasonably. An injury resulting from a person's failure to act in accordance with this principle constitutes contributory negligence.

The following is an example of a case law on the rule:

According to the "step-in-the-dark" rule, people entering an "unfamiliar situation" where darkness obscures their vision should not proceed without first determining whether obstructions impede their way; violation of this rule is contributory negligence as a matter of law. [Smythe v. Gooden, 1995 Del. Super. LEXIS 60 (Del. Super. Ct. Jan. 31, 1995)]