You may have little control over when you have to drive. For instance, perhaps you work late shifts at the hospital or refinery. You may not be part of that 9 a.m. commute that most people experience, but you definitely have your own commute after dark.
Does this increase your risks on the road? Are you in more danger because of your schedule and your obligations than you would be otherwise?
Drunk driving accidents increase at night
One potential way that your risk level goes up is that you may have to share the road with a greater number of impaired drivers. Studies have found that the three-hour period from 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. is when there are the most impaired drivers. Accident rates climb after dark. This is especially true on the weekend, when drunk driving increases on the whole, but any time after dark is more dangerous. You may be completely sober, heading to or from work, but many of the drivers around you are not.
Night-shift workers also have more risk
Even the fact that you work at night can increase your risk. Other studies have found more near-misses and accidents due to drowsy driving. Being tired behind the wheel reduces reaction times and leads to more errors, while some drivers nod off behind the wheel. Your body is also naturally the most tired at night, no matter how well you have adjusted to your schedule.
Again, this doesn’t mean that you, specifically, are causing these risks. Maybe you’re careful to only drive when you’re feeling alert enough to do it. But many other shift workers do not take these same precautions. And, just like impaired drivers, they are the ones you are sharing the road with.
What if you get injured?
You can’t avoid these risks, and you may get injured in a car accident during your commute. If so, you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages, medical costs and much more.