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Nighttime driving, rural crash sites and the circadian rhythm

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury |

Various federal and state agencies along with nonprofit groups gather statistics on car and large truck crashes: where, when and why they happen.

The information points to certain locations and times of day being the most dangerous for drivers and raises concerns about the circadian rhythm.

Weekend issues

In 2019, 38,800 people in the U.S. died in car accidents. Data from 2016 revealed that Saturday was the deadliest day of the week for drivers in the hours between midnight and 3:00 a.m. Weekends are busy times for bars. Many of these people were likely driving while intoxicated, but they might also have felt the effect of the lull in their circadian rhythm.

About the circadian rhythm

The circadian rhythm is the wake-sleep cycle that involves the body’s internal clock and the pattern of alertness in any 24-hour period. Natural lulls occur between midnight and 6:00 a.m. and again between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Anyone can experience sleepiness during these lulls but truck drivers who spend long hours on the road are especially vulnerable.

Rural roads and crashes

National Safety Council (NSC)  data from 2019 show that more than half of the fatal truck crashes that year happened on rural roads. Why? People tend to drive faster on rural roads. Also, deer and other animals crossing the road can cause devastating vehicle accidents. And because of the outlying location, it will take emergency personnel longer to reach the crash site in order to treat injuries.

Help is at hand

Vehicle crashes of all kinds can happen in seconds, often at night and in out-of-the-way locations. Victims may face life-altering injuries, but an advocate can help by negotiating maximum insurance compensation to cover medical expenses and more.