A first-shift commute exposes workers to major crash risks

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2023 | car accidents |

Many successful adults work a first-shift job that has them on the clock from roughly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They head off to work first thing in the morning, possibly after getting their kids to school. They spend the majority of their daylight hours at their place of employment, and then they return home to repeat the whole process again the next day, most days.

A first-shift job is predictable and convenient in many ways, as the world tends to cater to those who work during standard business hours as opposed to those who work second or third-shift jobs. However, there are also certain risks inherent in first-shift employment. While people may think of their morning drive as dangerous, particularly when the sun rises later in the morning in mid-winter, it isn’t as dangerous as their drive back home after work. A first-shift worker’s daily commute home is often a significant source of personal injury risk.

The afternoon rush hour is a dangerous time

Statistically, there are certain times of day when it is simply more dangerous to be on the road. Overall, the worst crashes, including a large number of fatal collisions and pedestrian-car crashes, happen when it is dark outside. However, the National Safety Council also warns people that the afternoon commute is a dangerous time to be on the road. The hours between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. during the weekdays see a higher-than-average number of collisions, many of which are relatively severe.

Numerous factors influence the level of risk during the afternoon rush hour. People may distract themselves with mobile devices while finishing up work responsibilities or making dinner plans with their loved ones. They may feel fatigued because they have been at work for so long without rest, or they may be under the influence of alcohol if they stopped off for a drink at happy hour.

Obviously, first-shift workers typically cannot avoid driving during the afternoon/evening rush hour. However, they can prioritize safety during those hours by following traffic laws and paying closer attention to the conduct of others on the road.