If you were to ask the average person, they would probably tell you that the most dangerous time for drunk driving is at 2 in the morning when the bars let out. According to the National Safety Council, they are right.
Those late-night and early morning hours when people frequent bars and clubs are often the time of day with the highest degree of crash risk on the road. Police officers will be watching carefully for drunk drivers and may even patrol the streets around popular gathering places to catch drivers who show signs of impairment.
Those who try to drive home when the bar closes after having a few drinks may have a higher risk of getting pulled over or causing a crash. However, the same could also be true for those getting in their car after a few drinks during the afternoon rush hour.
Afternoon drivers are in a rush and may not pay attention
After the late-night and early-morning hours, rush hour in the afternoon between 4 and 7 p.m. on weeknights is statistically the second most dangerous time to be on the road. The level of traffic is higher than usual, and people tend to drive in particularly unsafe manners at this time of day.
Drivers on their way home after a long day at work may feel exhausted, which can affect their driving ability. They may also use their mobile phones to talk to family members or friends, potentially increasing the risk of them causing a crash.
If you stop for a beer or two before you head home, you could potentially get into a crash with one of these distracted or fatigued drivers. If an officer gives you a breast test, they may hold you responsible for the crash even if the other driver was at fault.
Afternoon drinking habits can affect your driving
Those who frequently drink may also have a harder time than others honestly gauging their own impairment and could overestimate their driving skill. They could also fall victim to other drivers who try to deflect blame after causing a crash.
Identifying times when you have greater risk on the road can help you avoid getting accused of impaired driving or getting into a wreck.