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A first-shift commute puts people on the road at a dangerous time

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Working a first-shift job is the gold standard for many professionals. They begin their day and end it at home with their families. They work throughout the week and enjoy predictable weekends at home. A first-shift schedule works well for the vast majority of adults.

However, there are some challenges that come from any employment arrangement. For example, the commute to and from work can be a concern. People might think that the commute to work in the morning could be particularly dangerous because people may not be fully awake yet. However, statistics show that their drive home from work might actually be far more dangerous.

What do traffic safety statistics reveal?

According to the National Safety Council, the most dangerous time to drive is after the sun sets. During the nighttime, factors ranging from animal activity to an increased number of drunk drivers can lead to elevated collision risk. Many of the worst crashes happen after dark, including a large percentage of fatal pedestrian collisions.

The afternoon drive home occurs during the second most dangerous time to drive. The NSC reports that between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weeknights is the second most risky time to be out on public roads. The large number of people all rushing to get home at once creates many traffic hazards.

Some people experience an afternoon slump in energy that affects their ability to drive safely. Others may become distracted by last-minute work emails or communications with their families. There are also drivers who stop off at happy hour and who may be too drunk to drive safely home.

All of those risk factors combined with heavy levels of traffic make the afternoon rush hour a very dangerous time to be on the road. While commuters can’t just avoid afternoon traffic, they can focus more on personal safety for their own protection. Giving other drivers more space, avoiding distraction and choosing routes with lower levels of traffic could all help people get home from work safely.

Learning about when motor vehicle collision risk is highest can help people stay safer on the road. Yet, those who do end up involved in crashes may need assistance as they pursue compensation for their losses.