When you drive at rush hour, with a lot of traffic congestion, it’s easy to imagine that this time of day leads to a significant increase in car accidents. Do the studies back this up?
Some do, and you need to be aware of that risk. Simply having so many people on the road makes accidents more likely. This is compounded by the fact that people are often rushing and may drive recklessly or dangerously as a result.
However, part of the issue may be where you drive. One study found that traffic volume increases on local arterials actually led to lower accident rates than when traffic levels were lower. It found the opposite on freeways, though, as accident rates soared with higher amounts of traffic. The number of lanes also had an impact.
This is one way that you can sometimes avoid accidents or at least reduce your chances of getting into a crash. If your commute could take you on a freeway or a local road, choosing the local road may put you at a lower risk. It does not eliminate the risk entirely, of course, but you would face higher risks to spend the same time of day driving on the freeway.
No matter where you spend rush hour, if you’re driving, you could get involved in a serious crash caused by another driver. This could result in high medical bills that you have no way to pay off, lost wages that you can’t make up for and many other costs. Make sure you know what rights you have to financial compensation.