What Time do Most Motorcycle Accidents Occur?

There are plenty of motorcyclists operating in the state of Tennessee, and they are passionate about what they do. Regardless of whether or not a person uses their motorcycle for their day-to-day transportation or for enjoying the scenery around the stage on the weekends, there is nothing quite like riding on a motorcycle. Here, we want to discuss what time of day most motorcycle accidents occur. We do not present this information to place fear in people’s minds – we do this so that motorcyclists across the state are armed with more information that can help keep them safe.

What Does the Data Say?

When we turn to data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we can see that most motorcycle accidents occur on the weekends and between the hours of 3:00 PM and midnight.

Digging deeper into this data, we can see that the risk of a motorcyclist being involved in a fatal accident more than doubles from the hours of 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM, which is the time of day that represents around 42% of all motorcyclist fatalities. This is also the same timeframe in which we see non-fatal motorcycle accidents increase as well. In fact, we know that motorcycle accident are more likely to cause serious injuries than fatalities, though motorcyclists do face a higher risk of a fatal accident occurring than do drivers and passengers inside traditional vehicles when an accident occurs.

When We Look at the Weekday Data

When analyzing data available from the NHTSA, the data does not necessarily paint an accurate picture of the dangers that motorcyclists face when they ride on the weekend. The data shows an overall large number of motorcycle accidents that occur each week. However, there is always a significant concentration of motorcycle accidents that occur on the weekends.

Why Are There More Crashes During Certain Times and Days?

There may be various explanations as to why injury and fatal motorcycle accidents occur during certain time frames and on certain days. Yes, while the data may point to the hours between 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM as being the most dangerous, why would this be the case?

There are several factors that could lead to an increase in risk factors for motorcyclists during this time frame. This can include:

  • More traffic. Particularly when motorcyclists are operating between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM, this is when traffic is much more likely to be on the roadway in higher numbers. When people are heading home from work, the roadways can become congested, which is a dangerous thing for motorcyclists.
  • Riding conditions. Aside from rush hour traffic, this is also a time of day when the sun begins to go down and the atmosphere cools. Riding conditions can deteriorate, and this is the time of day when a mixture of various types of precipitation and temperature changes can alter the “grip” of the asphalt.
  • Driver impairment. Driver impairment is much more likely to increase in the afternoon and evening hours. This is true for motorcyclists and vehicle drivers who may operate impaired.
  • Visibility. Between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM, motorcyclists have to contend with the setting sun and then nighttime driving. This decreased visibility can affect the motorcyclists as well as other drivers on the roadway, thus decreasing safety.

When examining why motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur on the weekends, we can see that this is a time when more motorcyclists hit the roadways. Additionally, the weekend is when motorcyclists and other drivers are more likely to be intoxicated by alcohol. If you were hit while on your motorcycle, contact our Nashville motorcycle accident attorneys today to see how we can help.