Most accidents during evening rush hour

Wednesday 16 March 2011
The majority of car accidents occur during the evening rush hour. The risk of an accident is greatest in the late evening and night-time. These facts emerged from an analysis of accidents reported to the Incident Management Coordination Centre (LCM) of Stichting Incident Management Nederland, in 2010. During work days, 31% of accidents on IM roads take place between 15.00 and 19.00 hours. The proportion during morning rush hours is 26%. In the weekend there is no identifiable rush hour pattern, but there is a gradual rise in the number of accidents during the course of the day, peaking between 16.00 and 18.00 hours. The large number of accidents in evening and night-time hours in the weekend stood out clearly.

Meeste ongelukken in avondspits Average number of accidents on IM roads per hour on working days and in the weekend (2010)

The discrepancy between morning and evening rush hour can partially be explained by the fact that the evening rush hour is busier. There is also a greater risk of accidents during the evening rush hour. The risk of accidents is defined as the number of accidents in relation to the average traffic intensity during the same time period. At the end of their working day, road users are clearly less alert than in the early morning. The risk of accidents rises even further in the late evening and night-time hours. By that stage, fatigue - or worse - clearly hits hardest.

Aantal ongevallen in verhouding tot verkeersdrukte per uur op werkdagen
Risk of an accident (relative risk of accidents per hour of the working day as compared to the daily average)

The rise in the risk of accidents during the course of the day ties in with the picture reflected by the figures per week, and throughout the year. In 2010, just as in previous years, Friday was the busiest day and December the busiest month for car recovery companies. The figures clearly suggest that the break period in the year is not during the summer holidays but during the Christmas period.

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