Like many motorists, you may have no clue when the most dangerous time to drive is. Nighttime may seem like the obvious answer, yet there are fewer drivers on the road when it is dark out. Morning rush hour might also seem risky, as millions of half-awake people head to work. Yet, motorists are most likely to get in an accident in the late afternoon or early evening.
The risks posed by rush hour
Most auto accidents happen during rush hour and the hours immediately afterward – between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. Fatal collisions are highest during this period as well. During rush hour, drivers experience increased dangers due to congestion. Motorists’ tempers often rise when traffic backs up, and some may engage in distractions if it slows to a crawl. When traffic is flowing, drivers are more prone to rush homeward to make up for lost time, and they may make risky maneuvers while speeding down the road.
Other common accident times
Non-fatal accidents are common on weekday afternoons between noon and 4:00 p.m. Within this time frame, your circadian rhythm dips. As a result, you will likely feel drowsy, which puts you at risk for fatigued driving if you’re on the road.
Though rush hour is the leading time for fatal accidents, many still happen at night. Some of these accidents occur due to visibility issues, since darkness can affect depth perception and the glare from other motorists’ headlights can be blinding. Impaired and fatigued drivers are also more likely to be on the roads, posing risks to those around them.
As a motorist, your safest course of action is to stay off the road during dangerous drive times. Given your job or lifestyle, though, this may be impossible. By remaining alert and patient, you can reduce your odds of getting into a collision during these periods.