If you had to choose which commute was worse, the morning drive to work or the afternoon ride home, you would not be alone if you chose the morning. Many people loathe their morning commute. They have a long day of work ahead of them and may still be groggy from an unrestful night. Instead of enjoyable music on the radio, there’s nothing but banal talk show chatter. The sky may still be dark or overcast.
The afternoon commute home, on the other hand, is the beginning of someone’s free time before they return to work again. They may enthusiastically turn up the radio and take a detour on the way home to do something for themselves. This time of day is often when people get to pursue their favorite activities or go home to spend time with their families.
While the ride home may be more pleasant for you and many others who work first-shift jobs, statistically, it is actually more dangerous than the morning commute. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous times of the day to be on the road.
Many crashes occur during the afternoon rush hour
According to traffic collision data analyzed by the National Safety Council, the drive home in the afternoon is the second most dangerous time to be on the road, other than late at night. Between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, major crashes are far more likely than at essentially any other time of day before the sun sets.
Many people experience a mid-afternoon slump in energy that factors into these crest statistics. Happy hour visits before driving home and distraction caused by texting with friends or family members may also play a role in the heightened afternoon collision risk.
Recognizing your risk can help you stay safe
When you understand that your chance of getting into motor vehicle collisions is substantially higher during your afternoon commute, you can make choices that can keep you safer. From choosing routes with less traffic to being more proactive about watching the people around you, there are many little steps that you can take to reduce your chances of a crash keeping you from your free time.