Harm reduction involves making decisions that limit your personal risk. When it comes to driving, harm reduction might involve learning about what causes crashes and identifying consistent factors among collisions.
For example, although crashes can occur at any time of the day, researchers have identified that the risk is higher during certain times. The National Safety Council has released a report to the public advising them to take extra caution during certain times of the day. What are the riskiest times to be on the road?
It is usually more dangerous to drive at night
Multiple factors contribute to the nighttime being one of the riskiest times to drive. Darkness on its own can lead to crashes because drivers don’t notice animals stepping onto the street or pedestrians nearby. They may not spot potholes or other risks right in front of their vehicle.
Night driving is also risky because it is more likely for people to be fatigued or tired at the wheel. Exhausted drivers are dangerous drivers who have longer reaction times and who might even fall asleep at the wheel.
As if those two issues weren’t concerning enough, there is a greater risk of encountering drunk drivers at night, especially after bars, restaurants or special events like concerts close down for the evening. These people will all want to get home themselves, even if it isn’t safe for them to drive in their current state. Limiting how much you drive late at night, ensuring you are fully awake and sober, and watching for other vehicles can all keep you safer when driving in the dark.
Rush hour after work is also a dangerous time
Every morning and mid-afternoon, roads and highways fill up with first shift workers. Although the same number of people have to make morning and afternoon commutes, the afternoon commute is statistically more dangerous.
Drivers may be more likely to multitask or be exhausted and distracted while driving at the end of the day. Those who are on the roads between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. are at much higher risk of a crash than those driving home earlier in the day.
While you may not be able to avoid high-risk times on the road, recognizing your increased risk can help you avoid causing a crash.