A large percentage of successful professionals work a standard first-shift schedule. They report to the office five days a week in the morning and head home in the late afternoon. Their job helps them support their family and might also provide them with benefits including health insurance and paid leave.
The first-shift schedule can seem very convenient. It is the standard in many workplaces, and those who work first shift may have an easier time meeting their family responsibilities after work. They can still spend time with their loved ones and balance their personal needs with their work responsibilities. Unfortunately, there is a downside to the prevalence of first-shift employment arrangements. Drivers may be at increased risk of a crash because their schedule puts them on the road at a time when collision risk is unusually high.
What the data says about crash risk
The National Safety Council (NSC) is a federal agency that analyzes data to provide safety guidance for Americans. The NSC has uncovered clear trends regarding when major motor vehicle collisions occur. Statistically, the time between sunset and sunrise is the most dangerous time to be on the road. A significant portion of major collisions, including fatal crashes and drunk driving collisions, occur during the night. Nighttime is therefore the most dangerous time to drive.
However, the NSC recognizes a second time of day that also has significantly elevated collision risk. Motorists are far more likely to get into a crash during the afternoon rush hour on weekdays than they are earlier in the day. The number of drivers on the road between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., their degree of distraction and possibly even their fatigue may all factor into the number of collisions that occur during the afternoon rush hour.
First-shift workers may have experienced elevated crash risk for years without realizing the danger. While second and third-shift workers may have to worry about the dangers of nighttime driving, first-shift workers may want to pay closer attention during their commute home to ensure that they arrive safely.
Ultimately, learning more about trends in overall collision risk may benefit those who drive frequently and hope to make safety a priority.