What’s the most dangerous time to drive Missouri’s roads? Given how many accidents involve alcohol, you would have good reason to guess a Friday or Saturday night—right around bar close. But you’d be wrong.

According to statistics from the State of Missouri’s STARS Reporting, people suffer more injuries from accidents during the end-of-day rush hour. In 2018, there were more accidents on Friday than any other day, and there was a noticeable spike of accidents between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Stay safe on your commute

Friday’s homebound commute wasn’t the only one loaded with accidents and injuries. Every weekday saw similar spikes for the end-of-day rush hour. So while it’s always a good idea to pay attention on the road, it’s especially important to drive defensively on your way home from work.

What does it mean to “drive defensively”? Missouri’s Driver Guide offers several tips:

  • Wear your seatbelt: It’s the law, and studies show that seatbelts help prevent injuries and deaths.
  • Scan the road: Look far down the road and check your mirrors to get a picture of traffic patterns and the behaviors of other drivers.
  • Expect other drivers to make mistakes: Leave yourself room to react and look for escape routes. Would you rather drive into the ditch or crash into another driver?
  • Use your traffic signals: Making yourself predictable helps others drive more safely around you, but you can’t expect others to use their signals.
  • Avoid distractions: Texting your friends during rush hour is a recipe for disaster. More than half of Missouri’s drivers view distracted driving as the biggest threat to their safety, but they still engage in distractions. Don’t allow yourself to be one of those distracted drivers.

Reap the rewards for your good behavior

The first and most obvious reason to drive safely is to get home safely. You can enjoy the long summer evenings and spend time with your friends and family. But there are other reasons to drive safely, too. If you do get into an accident and can show you were driving safely, you and your lawyer stand a better chance of proving the other driver was to blame.