One of the benefits of large-scale analysis of crash data is that researchers can help provide people with information about risk and how to keep them safer when engaged in higher-risk activities. For example, research can identify certain behaviors that are riskier than others.

Crash data can also help people understand when they are most likely to get into a motor vehicle collision. It turns out that there are certain times of day and also certain days of the week when significant collisions are a greater risk for drivers.

There is typically more risk later in the day than in the morning

Most people are at their optimal alertness and functionality in the morning after breakfast and a shower. The risk for dozing off in the vehicle or making preventable mistakes due to boredom or frustration may be lower as well.

According to an analysis of crash data by the National Safety Council, the late afternoon, evening and earliest morning hours are the most dangerous times of the day. You’re more likely to get into a crash around sunset time than you are in the morning while on your way to work.

Changing road conditions, rush hour traffic at the end of the day and even people stopping off to happy hour after their day at work all impact the dangers associated with afternoon and evening driving. Driving after dark also has increased risk, with crash rates remaining elevated until after the bars close at night. Given the weekends are often associated with socialization and relaxation, most people won’t find it surprising to learn that Saturday is the most dangerous day to drive.

Harm reduction involves making informed decisions

Trying to stay as safe as possible while driving often means determining the amount of risk involved in the situation. Obviously, you can’t avoid driving on Saturdays or in the afternoon, evening or night time. However, you can drive with greater caution at times and on days when risk is higher.

If despite your best efforts you still get into a crash caused by another driver, you may have the right to seek compensation from them if they cause property damage or injury to you or one of your passengers.