As your San Francisco/Oakland car accident law firm, we understand that automobile collisions can occur at any time of day, any day of the week. Different times carry different dangers. In the late night/early morning hours, there may be a higher risk of encountering drunk drivers or highly fatigued drivers and there is the challenge of driving without daylight. Daytime drivers, however, may face more traffic and may encounter drivers who are multi-tasking as work, children, and other distractions pull attention away from the task of driving. So, we wondered: Ultimately, what time of day sees the highest number of car accidents? Which is more dangerous, daytime or nighttime driving?
NHTSA Statistics on Injury and Fatality Crashes by Time of Day
A report entitled Traffic Safety Facts 2009 presents a plethora of data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) on accidents ranging from basic fender-benders to deadly multi-car pile-ups. The report includes over 100 tables and charts, examining crash data from many different angles in order to uncover patterns and trends. Table 25 focuses on time of day and reveals that the three hour timespan with the highest number of fatal crashes was 6 to 9 P.M. (4,988) followed very closely by 3 to 6 P.M. (4,994). Looking at injury crashes, the highest number occurred between 3 and 6 P.M. (371,000), with the next highest number occurring from noon to 3 P.M. (290,000).