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What are the most dangerous times of day to drive?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There is little rhyme or reason to the occurrence of major motor vehicle collisions. They can happen at the busiest times of the day or at the most rural locations in a county. Even those who take every reasonable precaution can end up hurt in a wreck if they cross paths with the wrong person on the road.

Still, there are trends that arise when one considers the recent history of collisions reported across the country. The National Safety Council (NSC) in no small part helps promote public safety through the careful analysis of reports related to injuries and fatalities.

Car crashes are a leading cause of debilitating injury and death in the United States. According to the NSC analysis of crash reports, there are two times of day when your likelihood of a wreck is much higher than usual.

After the sun sets

The most dangerous time to drive is after dark based on the data provided by the NSC. There are many factors that make the nighttime dangerous. Obviously, dark conditions mean reduced visibility and therefore less time to react to issues like a vehicle parked in the street. Beyond that, there are risks related to animal activity, drunk drivers and fatigue that make nighttime driving particularly dangerous.

The afternoon rush hour

In the winter months, the afternoon rush hour might partially occur when the evening sky is dark. However, the risk during the afternoon rush hour is more about the density of traffic and the behavior of people at the wheel.

As during the nighttime, the afternoon rush hour between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. sees an increased risk of drunk driving caused by those stopping off for a drink on the way home after work. There are also many distracted drivers and people speeding to get where they want to be after a long day at the office.

Although you can’t reasonably attempt to avoid driving at all during the late afternoon or overnight, you can use more caution during what you know to be times of day with greater statistical risk to your safety. Watching carefully for bad behavior from other drivers could reduce your chances of a motor vehicle collision even during the most dangerous times of the day.