Have you ever wondered when the most dangerous times of day to drive are?
You might think that the vampire hours of midnight to 3 AM are the worst. This period has historically been the most dangerous time for driving due to a high percentage of drunk drivers.
While drunk driving during the early morning is still prevalent, there’s a new time frame that has become deadlier for drivers. In the past few years, most car accidents occur between 4 to 8 PM.
The evening commute is now the most dangerous time for driving and there are many different reasons for it. We’ll take a look at why this is below so that you can understand the importance of driving extra carefully.
4-7 PM Is the Deadliest
By a great margin, the most dangerous time for anyone to drive is between the hours of 4-7 PM. The reason for this is fairly straightforward; people are driving home after their day at work.
You might be wondering how this is any different from commuters making their way to work in the morning. People are often tired and not yet fully awake during the morning, so how can the evening be worse?
While commuters are more awake during the evening rush hour commute, several other factors make it more dangerous.
For starters, people tend to drive faster because they’re in a rush to get home. After a long day at work, all they want to do is get home and unwind and they don’t enjoy wasting time commuting.
Another reason is that people may have had a tough day at work. As a result, their emotions are high, which can easily cloud their judgment and lead to poor decisions.
With so many people leaving work at the same time, the build-up of traffic can compound the emotions and frustration of evening drivers. Accidents are most prevalent between 4-7 PM because people are tired after work and in a rush to get home.
7-10 PM Is Close Behind
While the rush hours of 4-7 PM are undoubtedly the worst, the hours of 7-10 PM are very close behind. The reasoning for this is similar to why accidents are so prevalent between 4-7 PM; evening commutes.
The difference between these two periods is that there are typically fewer drivers on the road late at night. However, there are still a good number of commuters past 7 PM and there is the added factor of it being dark outside.
Driving at night is more difficult than during the day because it’s harder to see. When you mix poor driving conditions with the frustration of a long day at work, there’s no surprise that late-night commuting is almost as bad as the early evening commute.
One last thing to keep in mind is that this is also a window that gives someone time to head to a bar and have a drink or two after work. If someone has too many and decides to drive, then this adds in the hazard of having impaired drivers on the road.
7-10 PM is nearly as impactful as 4-7 PM because of late-night commutes, driving while it’s dark, and the inclusion of impaired drivers.
There Are More Accidents During the Weekend
The hours between 4-10 PM are the most dangerous time to drive, but this mainly pertains to the working days of the week, Monday through Friday.
However, compared to an average weekday, there are significantly more accidents that happen during the weekend. In particular, Saturday is the deadliest day of the entire week.
This is because there are more drivers on the road on a weekend then there are on a weekday. People enjoy going out and having fun on the weekends to help them relax after a week of working. Children are also out of school, which allows families to go on adventures together.
Not only are people going on outings during the weekend, but some also enjoy drinking. There is an increased rate of drinking and driving during the weekends compared to weekdays, which has a direct impact on the number of accidents.
Make sure to drive extra safe during the weekends because there are more drivers on the road and a great chance of encountering an impaired driver.
4-10 AM Is the Safest Time to Drive
Now that you know what times are the most dangerous for driving, you might be wondering when it’s safe to drive.
Believe it or not, the morning commute hours are the best time to drive. Even though there are a great number of vehicles on the road between 4 and 10 AM, most drivers tend to obey speeding laws and are generally safer overall.
While people may not be excited about going to work, their moods should be mellow overall as they haven’t been wound up yet from a day of working. This means they’ll make better decisions on the road, which keeps everyone safe.
The last thing to keep in mind about early morning commuting is that it is usually light out. With better visibility, driving is naturally easier and results in fewer accidents.
4-10 AM tends to be the safest time to drive because of unclouded decision making, slower drivers, and the presence of daylight.
The early hours of the morning used to be the deadliest time to drive, but that has changed to the evening commuting hours.
4-7 PM is now the most dangerous time to drive due to the frustration of working, a rush to get home, and a massive number of cars on the road. 7-10 PM is almost as bad because it will also be dark outside and there’s an increased risk of impaired drivers.
For the most dangerous time of week, the weekends are much more hazardous than weekdays because of more vehicles being driven and a greater number of people drinking. By contrast, the hours of 4-10 AM during the weekdays are the safest hours to drive due to better decision making and ample daylight.
No matter what time you decide to drive, you should always be safe and avoid any distractions. Be particularly careful on the weekends and during your evening commute to give you the greatest chance of getting home safely!