Motorcycle accidents are not uncommon throughout the state of California. However, individual motorcyclists can take steps to help prevent these accidents from occurring in the first place. One of the best ways to prevent a motorcycle accident is to know when these incidents are most likely to occur. Here, we want to discuss what time of day motorcycle accidents typically occur as well as which days of the week most of these collisions happen. We will not go as far as to suggest that motorcyclists should avoid riding during the times that we talk about here, but we do want you to be aware of the heightened dangers.
When is the Most Dangerous Time to Operate a Motorcycle?
If we look at information provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that there were 474 motorcyclist fatalities during the latest year across the state. Additionally, around 13,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries as a result of vehicle collisions during the same reporting year. Unfortunately, the OTS data does not provide us with information related to when most of these motorcycle accidents occur.
If we turn to information available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we see that there are various time frames when the majority of motorcycle accidents occur. In general, we will see that motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur between the hours of 3:00 PM and midnight and on the weekend evenings and nights.
We should look more closely at this data in order to properly explain the risks that motorcyclists face. We are not recommending that motorcyclists avoid operating their vehicles altogether during specific time frames, but we think that all motorcyclists should know when they need to be most vigilant:
- Between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM are when most drivers are on the roadway at some point across the state of California. Any Californian who lives in or around a major urban area is well aware of rush hour traffic that will begin right around 4:00 PM. With more people on the roadways, there is simply a higher likelihood that a motorcyclist will be involved in a crash.
- The hours ranging from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM are also when a motorcyclist’s visibility will begin to decrease for a variety of reasons. The sun can begin to set early, depending on the time of year. As the sun sets, this will increase the amount of glare a motorcyclist and other drivers have to contend with. Additionally, after the sun goes down, this will significantly decrease the ability of other drivers to see a motorcyclist.
- Evening hours are when most individuals go to bars or restaurants. During the weekday, this regularly happens after work hours. On Friday and Saturday nights, this is when individuals head out for a night on the town, often with the intention of consuming alcoholic beverages. Impaired driving is a leading factor of all traffic and motorcycle crash fatalities across the state.
Looking at the Weekend Motorcycle Crash Data More Closely
If we look more closely at the data from the NHTSA, we can clearly see that most motorcycle accidents across the country occur on the weekends. Motorcycle accidents are much more likely to occur on Saturdays and Sundays than they are throughout the course of the regular five weekdays. In fact, if we add up the accidents that occur on the weekend, this is fairly equal to the accidents that occur on every other weekday combined.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, make sure to speak with a skilled San Bernardino motorcycle accident attorney.