What Are the Most Dangerous Times to Drive?

November 7, 2022
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Provide Sound Legal Advice to Those Injured in Collisions.

Due to the larger number of vehicles on the road, daytime driving hours account for slightly more than half of all driving fatalities. More people work and drive during the daylight hours than at night. Peak traffic typically occurs from about 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. during the morning commute to work, and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the evening commute.

Commercial trucks, people running errands, and work commutes mean more drivers are on the road during the daytime. More drivers and vehicles add up to more car accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that daytime driving accounts for slightly more than half of all traffic fatalities, yet the driving risks are greater when darkness falls. According to the NHTSA, driving fatalities are three times more likely to occur after dark than during the daytime. Some of the reasons for this include reduced visibility and colder air temperatures that might cause icy roads. The potential for motorists driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both is also greater during the evening hours. Additionally, drowsy driving accidents often occur at night as well.

NHSTA says the most dangerous time to drive is from about an hour before dusk to three hours after sunset. Those are the hours during which many people are driving home after a long day of work and are more likely to be fatigued. Many motorists run quick errands on their way home from work, including going to the grocery store or picking up children from daycare. The setting sun also causes blinding sun glare that makes it even more difficult to see traffic and pedestrians.

Additionally, daylight saving time (DST) in fall and spring affects the deadliest hours. From about spring through summer, the sun sets later in the evening, so the most dangerous hours to drive are from about 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The fall time change causes the sun to set an hour earlier. The peak hours for traffic fatalities occur is about an hour earlier, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

How Can You Avoid an Accident?

Driving responsibly is the greatest deterrent. Abiding by the speed limit and other rules of the road will help you avoid causing an accident.

An important safety tip is to have a safe following distance. Drivers should have a minimum of a three-second following distance in good weather. The three-second rule increases to four seconds in bad weather and when you are behind a tractor trailer.

Additionally, you should ensure your vehicle is well-maintained with good brakes, tires, and fully functioning lights. The brakes and tires help keep your vehicle under control, and working lights prevent other drivers from running into you.

Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Provide Sound Legal Advice to Those Injured in Collisions

Whether you have been involved in a car accident in the day or night, you have legal rights worth protecting. If you have been injured in a car crash, speak with one of our Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we represent clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.