When is the deadliest time to drive in Oklahoma?

Car wrecks, like the people that cause them, are relatively unpredictable. Someone might get drunk at noon on a Tuesday when their relationship ends or try to drive home while violently ill, only to lose control of their vehicle. There is no way of knowing exactly when or where a crash might occur, and yet collision statistics provide valuable insight for the purposes of public safety. For while accidents can happen anytime, there are certainly times when travelers can benefit from being especially cautious.

When researchers look at when crashes occur in Oklahoma, it’s easier for both members of the public and policymakers to take steps that will protect people from preventable collisions. Based on their conclusions, these are some of the most hazardous times to be traveling on roads in Oklahoma.

Statistics show that afternoon driving is the most dangerous

When looking at the number of crashes that occur at different times of day, a specific three-hour window sees substantially more collisions than other times of the day. The most dangerous times of the day to drive in Oklahoma are a bit earlier than in the rest of the country.

The highest number of crashes occurred between 3 pm and 6 pm daily. Federal crash data from the National Safety Council says that the afternoon rush hour, between 4 pm and 7 pm, is the second most dangerous time of day across the country.

When looking at which days were the most dangerous, Friday and Wednesday saw the most crashes, while Saturday and Sunday saw the fewest. At least in 2021, April was the most dangerous month, followed by October. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office releases an analysis of crashes each year, and the data from 2021 was similar to what the office reported in 2020.

How research can help drivers

As a first-shift worker or someone with young children in school, a driver can’t necessarily avoid being on the road in the afternoon or stay off the roads as much as possible throughout April every year. Rather than engaging in risk avoidance based on when crashes frequently occur, drivers should instead use this information to be more proactive about safety while driving.

During times when crash risk is higher than usual, drivers should be a bit more defensive at the wheel, giving others more space and watching more carefully for signs of bad behavior. Following reports concerning motor vehicle collision statistics can help someone to avoid contributing to those statistics unfavorably down the road.