When you think about it, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most dangerous time to be on the road is during commuting hours. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 5PM to 7PM is the most dangerous time of day to drive. This is peak commuter time, so the roads are filled with drivers who are anxious to get home for the evening, for a multitude of reasons, including seeing their families, eating and watching television.

Traffic during the most dangerous time of day to drive

Accident Statistics for Commuting Hours:

    • In 2013, 32 percent of crash deaths occurred between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
    • About half of all accidents happen during commuting hours
  • The two most common types of accidents that happen during commuting hours are being rear-ended or rear-ending another vehicle

Car Accidents During Peak Driving Hours Can Be Avoided:

    • Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention (just because the car in front of you has their turn signal on doesn’t mean they’ll turn or that they’ll turn in the direction they’re signaling for).
    • young woman texting and drivingDon’t text. In addition to being a distraction, it’s illegal in most states.
    • Don’t tailgate. Leave at least 3 to 4 seconds of driving distance between you and the car in front. In inclement weather, when roads are wet or slippery, double the distance.
    • Changing lanes. Use caution and turn signals.
  • Don’t speed. The faster you’re going the harder your car is to control.

In addition to remaining focused and following the basic driving safety tips above, plan your schedule accordingly around this dangerous driving time.


Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Nationwide Insurance
Consumer Reports