Motor vehicle collision statistics can actually help keep you safer, which is why journalists and others often refer to crash data. The more you understand about when, where and why crashes occur, the easier it will be for you to develop driving habits that reduce your overall risk of a wreck.
When it comes to timing, there are two different schedules you have to consider. There are different times of the year when your crash risks fluctuate, and then there are also different times of day when you are more likely to get into a wreck.
When are your crash risks highest on a day-to-day basis?
At night time
The worst crashes often occur late at night. Drunk driving collisions tend to occur after dark, as do many drowsy driving collisions caused by people falling asleep at the wheel or trying to drive home when so exhausted that they can’t focus on their surroundings. Digital distraction can also be a serious issue at night because the light from a phone can affect someone’s night vision.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the night is statistically when people are at the highest risk for a crash. Teenagers are at particular risk of severe collisions when it is dark outside, in part because nighttime driving requires more practice to manage safely.
The afternoon rush hour
After daylight savings time, the afternoon rush hour sometimes takes place after dark. However, it is not the lack of light that makes the afternoon rush hour risky. Instead, it is the common afternoon slump and energy many people experience following a long day at work combined with heavy traffic levels that make the hours between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. particularly dangerous according to the NSC.
Although you can’t just stay off the road between 4:00 and 7:00 or after dark every single day, you may remember that driving after dark or on your way home from work in the afternoon is higher-risk and pay closer attention to your surroundings. Recognizing your increased risk of a motor vehicle collision could help you drive more safely and avoid a wreck or at least avoid being the one responsible for it.