Driving is an everyday activity for most of us, but it is important to know that certain times pose a higher risk of getting involved in an accident. Whether because of increased traffic, weather or human factors, knowing the most dangerous times and circumstances for driving can help us take precautions and reduce our likelihood of being in a car accident.
Rush hour is notorious for heavy traffic and stressed-out drivers. People are either in a rush to arrive at work on time or tired after a long day and may feel impatient to arrive at their destination.
During peak commuting hours, typically between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and in the evening, typically between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., roads are overcrowded with drivers rushing to get somewhere.
The combination of these factors significantly increases the risk of an accident. To navigate rush hour safely, leave early or later, or consider alternative routes.
Driving at night
Driving at night presents unique challenges and is the most dangerous time to drive or be on the road. The combination of low visibility, possible fatigue, tiredness and risk of falling asleep behind the wheel creates a significant risk.
Our depth perception decreases after dark, which makes it more challenging to judge distances accurately and identify possible obstacles on the road or in construction zones.
Drowsiness is another risk factor associated with late-night driving, especially for people not used to driving at night. Whether you bring your travel mug filled with coffee or a caffeinated, carbonated drink, you can still become drowsy because your body is not used to driving at night and is fighting against its natural pattern.
If you must drive at night, try taking breaks every two hours and avoid looking directly into oncoming headlights, which can blind your eyesight. If you are tired or drowsy, immediately find a rest stop or gas station and pull over until you feel refreshed.
Inclement weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, fog in the mornings, high winds or icy roads demand extra precaution while driving. Each of these conditions reduces traction and increases stopping distances considerably, making it much easier to lose control of your car.
To drive safely during adverse weather, ensure you drive slowly and increase the distance between you and other vehicles on the road. Ensure your tires are properly inflated and that you have the appropriate tires for where you are driving.
For example, some people need to install snow tires during the winter. Use your headlights, fog lights, and hazard lights to alert other drivers of an accident in front of you, an object on the road that may be difficult to see and construction zones.
Knowing when it is most dangerous to drive is crucial for every driver and passenger. Being aware that rush hour congestion is a risky time that you should try to avoid and that driving at night is the most dangerous time to drive, as well as the dangers of driving in adverse weather conditions, can all help you become much more alert when you are behind the wheel.