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When Are You Most Likely to Be in a Car Accident in Louisiana?

Posted in Our Blog on September 9, 2019

Car accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence across the United States. There is no exception here in Louisiana, where people are traveling across high-trafficked roadways at all hours. I-10 is considered one of the most dangerous roadways in the country, with frequent car accidents occurring at all hours on one of New Orleans’ main interstates. Due to issues like visibility, speed, and drunk driving, certain driving hours become much more dangerous than others.

Using local crash reporting data, we’ve identified when the most accidents happen in Louisiana and visualized which hours are the most dangerous for drivers. Take a look at the charts below and clearly see when the majority of injury and fatal accidents occur.

When Am I Most Likely To Be Injured in a Crash?

As seen in the chart below, the hours between 2pm and 6pm are the most dangerous for injury crashes. The hour between 5pm and 6pm is when the most injury crashes occur per day, with 3,892 crashes in 2018. This spike in the afternoon and evening could be related to the evening commute as people are driving home from work. Exhaustion, distraction, and traffic patterns contribute to many injury accidents on the road.

What Time Are You Most Likely to Die in a Car Crash?

Fatal accidents peak at different hours than injury-related accidents. Due to the number of crashes related to drunk driving, it’s logical that the data shows a spike in fatal accidents at night. The hour between 9pm and 10pm ranks first for the most fatal crashes, with a total of 52. The hour between 8pm and 9pm followed closely behind with 51 crashes, and 7-8pm showed 48 crashes.

Fatal and Injury Crashes by Hour

As you can see in the charts above, the risk of being injured or killed in a car accident increases throughout the day and into the overnight hours. Below you can see the number of crashes organized by hour of day:

12 – 01 A.M. 34 717
01 – 02 A.M. 23 630
02 – 03 A.M. 29 618
03 – 04 A.M. 15 480
04 – 05 A.M. 21 531
05 – 06 A.M. 26 826
06 – 07 A.M. 35 1270
07 – 08 A.M. 23 2207
08 – 09 A.M. 15 2062
09 – 10 A.M. 15 1735
10 – 11 A.M. 24 2021
11 – 12 P.M. 25 2443
12 – 01 P.M. 18 2903
01 – 02 P.M. 27 2733
02 – 03 P.M. 32 2982
03 – 04 P.M. 34 3649
04 – 05 P.M. 22 3708
05 – 06 P.M. 45 3892
06 – 07 P.M. 43 2859
07 – 08 P.M. 48 2109
08 – 09 P.M. 51 1787
09 – 10 P.M. 52 1531
10 – 11 P.M. 35 1265
11 – 12 A.M. 25 980

Why Do More People Die in Crashes at Night?

One of the main reasons more crashes occur at night is a lack of natural lighting and visibility. Driving at night generally requires drivers to rely on their headlights to see, which can make it difficult to estimate distance and speed of the other drivers sharing the road. Many drivers are impacted by oncoming headlights, causing glare or temporary blindness. The National Safety council reports that drivers over the age of 50 require twice as much light as a 30 year old in order to see on the road. Poorly-lit streets and highways can be cause for concern under these circumstances.

Evening and night hours also bring an increase of drunk drivers onto the road. People tend to go out around dinner time and afterward, then attempt to drive home after a few drinks. Drunk diving is attributed to 1 in 3 car accidents in the United States. Unfortunately, driving under the influence in Louisiana is more common than the national average. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.9% of Americans admit to driving after drinking too much. 2.5% of Louisianans who admitted to the same, showing a significant risk of drunk driving on our roadways.