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Most dangerous times to drive in Missouri

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Driving involves risk, and certain times heightens this risk significantly. For residents of Missouri, recognizing these periods as the most hazardous times to be behind the wheel is important for making informed decisions about when to travel.

Drivers can take extra precautions or even choose to avoid driving altogether during these peak danger zones.

Shorter days and night driving

As daylight saving time ends, many find themselves driving more in the dark on Missouri roads. Driving at night challenges drivers with low visibility, compromised night vision and the glare from oncoming headlights. These factors make night driving particularly perilous. The risk of fatal crashes increases at night, peaking on Saturday nights. Drivers should aim their headlights correctly, dim their dashboards and slow down to enhance safety.

Fatigue and driving

A significant number of crashes result from driver fatigue. There is a high risk of fatigue-related accidents during the early morning or late at night.

Missing just two hours of sleep can impair driving as much as consuming alcohol. The National Sleep Foundation advises getting at least seven hours of sleep and taking regular breaks to avoid drowsy driving.

Rush hour hazards

The evening rush hour, from 4 to 7 p.m., poses another dangerous time for driving due to increased traffic and eager drivers rushing home, especially in urban areas like Springfield. This period becomes even more hazardous in winter when it coincides with darker driving conditions. Staying patient, staying in one’s lane and staying alert are key strategies to navigate rush hour safely.

Impaired driving

Impaired driving remains a significant threat, with alcohol-related crashes constituting about one-third of all traffic fatalities, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The risk of encountering impaired drivers rises after dark, especially on weekends. Avoiding driving during late-night hours, particularly on weekends, can reduce the risk of accidents involving impaired drivers.

Seasonal and holiday risks

Certain times of the year, including holidays and the summer months, see a spike in driving-related fatalities. The summer season witnesses a surge in road trips, parties and teen drivers, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Thanksgiving also sees a spike in travel and, consequently, accidents.

Awareness of the most dangerous times to drive, combined with defensive driving strategies, can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. By adjusting driving habits and schedules, Missourians can help make the roads safer for everyone.

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