During the holidays, police reports and news anchors alike warn drivers to be careful, since the number of car accidents increases significantly around that time of year. It is true that in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, both the rates of drunk driving and car accidents overall spike substantially.
This might leave many people wondering: what about the rest of the year? Aside from the holidays, when do the risks of being involved in a car accident increase?
Rush hour is naturally a dangerous time to drive
If most people could venture a guess of when they are most at risk of being in a car accident, they would likely say rush hour. That guess would be correct. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the period between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm is the most dangerous time of day to drive.
There are a few reasons that the risk of an accident increases around rush hour, including:
- The sheer number of cars on the road makes the chance of an accident increase;
- People are eager to get home after work, and they might be speeding or even distracted behind the wheel;
- Drivers may also be tired after a long day of work, which could mean they are not paying attention to the road.
It also does not help that it is often dark during rush hour at this time of year, which decreases visibility.
Fatal accidents also increase on the weekend
Data from the NHTSA also reports the risk of a car crash increases or decreases depending on the day of the week. According to a study conducted in 2018, drivers are most likely to be involved in a fatal accident on Saturdays. This is mostly because:
- Like rush hour, there are often more cars out on the road during the weekend; and
- There are often more people driving under the influence during the weekend.
Regardless of when Maryland drivers are out on the road, they face the risk of coming across negligent drivers who put their safety in jeopardy. That is why, no matter the time or day, drivers must make sure they focus and drive defensively when they are behind the wheel, so they can arrive at their destinations safely.