When we hear about accident statistics typically the reports involve accidents per day, month, or year. Often, we hear facts from places like the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), such as “1 reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds,” and think that these crashes happen at regular intervals. Crashes, like much of life, have ebbs and flows. There are times when crashes occur with greater frequency and times when crashes are infrequent. Thanks to data provided by the TxDOT, we can identify the most dangerous times of the day in Texas and advise how to stay safe during these spikes in motor vehicle accidents.
What Times Are Dangerous?
In Texas, the TxDOT keeps detailed records of what times crashes occur. From the data collected in 2021, we can identify the most dangerous times of the day for both fatal and non-fatal crashes. For fatal crashes in Texas, the most dangerous times of the day to be driving are:
- 9:00 pm - 9:59 pm, with 272 fatal crashes reported
- 2:00 am - 2:59 am, with 241 fatal crashes reported
- 8:00 pm - 8:59 pm, with 226 fatal crashes reported
For non-fatal crashes, the times are different. The times when the most non-fatal accidents occur in Texas are:
- 5:00 pm - 5:59 pm, with 44,317 non-fatal crashes reported
- 4:00 pm - 4:59 pm, with 42,679 non-fatal crashes reported
- 3:00 pm - 3:59 pm, with 38,530 non-fatal crashes reported
Why Are These Times So Dangerous?
When we look at the times for both fatal and non-fatal accidents, we can see that they exist in clusters. Fatal crashes often occur in the late evening and early morning, whereas the most common times for non-fatal crashes are within a three-hour block between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm. From this data, we can extrapolate some reasons why.
Impaired and Fatigued Driving May Be Responsible For Nighttime Fatal Accidents
Impaired and fatigued driving are two of the leading causes of accidents in the United States. Impaired driving is driving while impaired by a substance, such as marijuana or alcohol, whereas fatigued driving is driving with inadequate rest. Both factors are exacerbated at night when people come home from restaurants and bars or after a long shift at service or second shift jobs. Both fatigued and impaired driving cause a slowing of a driver’s reaction time, reduce their ability to make good decisions while driving or cause them to have sensory issues, such as issues with sight due to blurred vision. These can cause drivers to crash harder and more dangerously than they would when they control their mental faculties entirely.
Rush Hour Causes Accidents
The non-fatal crash statistics can be explained with a simple cause-and-effect relationship. The three-hour block of time between 3 pm and 6 pm correlates with the time that many people leave work or school, so there are more people on the roads. With more people on the roads, there will inevitably be more accidents. People are often not impaired when they leave work, so they are more in control of their vehicles than those fatigued or impaired from drinking.
How can I Stay Safe During Dangerous Driving Times?
One of the most important ways to stay safe during these times is to give your full attention to the road. Putting away any device that can distract you, such as a smartphone, and focusing on driving is a way to ensure that you’re able to react to hazards that appear. Another is to ensure you do not drive if you feel unable to. If you have been drinking or feel too tired to drive, use a ridesharing app or hire a taxi. It’s better that you arrive with little money in your pocket than if you don’t arrive at all.
If an impaired or fatigued driver injured you, let us fight for you. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Bryan car accident lawyer from The Payne Law Group, don’t hesitate to contact our firm at (979) 300-7406 or send us an email.