Making Lives Better
After Accidents

3 times when driving is more dangerous than usual

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Auto Accidents

The one consistent truth about motor vehicle collisions is that they can potentially happen anywhere and at any time. People pick up their mobile phones while running errands on the weekend or drive home drunk from the bar on a Thursday night. The possibility of a crash is always there, and motorists generally need to accept that risk as part of the reality of owning a vehicle. However, when looking carefully into research about motor vehicle collisions, there are certain trends that begin to emerge.

Specifically, there are certain times when the possibility of a crash is significantly higher than usual. Federal collision data can help people make more informed decisions about when they drive and how much focus they put on safety at any given time. When is collision risk statistically highest?

After the sun sets

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nighttime is overall the most dangerous time to be on the road. Obviously, visibility issues related to nighttime driving contribute to crash risk. Data also shows that a large number of drunk driving collisions occur after the sun sets. Those on the road after dark may need to be a bit more proactive about monitoring their surroundings and taking steps to mitigate their overall risk of a collision.

During the weekday afternoon rush hour

The NSC also reported that late afternoon on weekdays can be a particularly dangerous time to drive. Specifically, the hours between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays see a disproportionate number of collisions. Thousands (and even millions) of people headed home from their first shift jobs clog up major thoroughfares. The combination of high traffic density and aggressive conduct by those eager to get home can lead to a significantly increased risk of a collision.

On holidays and the weekends closest to them

Crash risk ebbs and flows throughout the week and during the day. There are also cyclical patterns that occur on an annual basis. Major federal holidays are often among the most dangerous days to be on the road. There is a significant increase in drunk driving collisions around holidays including New Year’s Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. When holidays fall on weekdays, the weekend closest to the holiday may also see a significant increase in drunk driving collisions.

People don’t necessarily need to avoid driving on holidays, after dark or during the afternoon rush hour. Simply recognizing when the chances of a motor vehicle collision are highest could help people make better choices about their safety in traffic.