I've decided not to do rides at night in rural areas. I've crashed twice in a year (literally 1 year apart to the day & almost to the hour!), both at night. The first time, where & how I crashed could have day or night, no difference. My last crash though was never going to happen in the day.
I'd got used on night rides to seeing more animals that I'd not encounter in the day. Foxes, bunnies, the occasional badger. It was a badger which has resulted in me being hospitalised, with a fractured pelvis, heavy bruising to arse, hip & leg, a little bit of whiplash (maybe, it aches for sure) & a completely destroyed helmet, sprained wrist, and various other cuts & grazes.
I'd pondered whether to jump on the turbo or do an off road ride along an old railway line. I decided the latter & as per usual saw loads of animals scurrying away as I approached. Only 1 animal when I was about 2 miles from home, didn't scurry but shot or in front of me from the undergrowth literally 2 ft in front of me. I had nowhere to go, no time to react, and hit the Badger full bore.
I learned since that I'm not the first person on this old railway line to fall foul of a badger hit. And someone else had a badger incident on a rural road too.
So that's it for me. I've probably lost my chance to do the Tour of Flanders sportive due to a night ride where I knew I'd see animals (as I always ride on quiet roads for obvious reasons) ending up badly.
Take care out there!