Our David W. Martin Accident and Injury Lawyers in South Carolina know in March 2020, commuting halted for much of the U.S. workforce. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people working from home tripled between 2019 and 2021, from 5.7% (roughly nine million people) to 17.9% (27.6 million people).
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that around 27% of the U.S. workforce is still working remotely as of 2023. For the rest of us, trips to work — whether an office, warehouse, retail outlet, construction site, or restaurant — the commute remains an integral and time-consuming part of our days.
The latest statistics reveal the average American commute time to and from work is 55 minutes.
Unfortunately, commute times are often some of the most dangerous times to drive, especially in the fall and winter, when there is less light during the heaviest driving times.
Commuting times can be more dangerous for drivers for several reasons; here we discuss some of them.
What are the Most Common Reasons Commute Times are More Dangerous?
The most obvious reason is that they often coincide with rush hour, when many vehicles are on the road. This increases the risk of congestion, erratic driving behavior, and rear-end collisions, making the commute more dangerous.
Other reasons include, but are not limited to:
- Increased Stress
Long commutes can be stressful, leading to driver frustration and impatience. Stressed and impatient drivers are more likely to engage in aggressive or reckless behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and road rage, which can lead to accidents.
Lengthy commutes can result in driver fatigue, especially when combined with early morning or late-night hours. Exhaustion impairs reaction times and decision-making abilities, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Distracted Driving
Commute times provide ample opportunity for distractions, as drivers may be tempted to use their smartphones, eat, or engage in other non-driving activities. Distracted driving is a significant contributor to accidents.
- Reduced Visibility
Commuting during certain times, such as sunrise or sunset, can lead to reduced visibility due to glare from the sun. Poor weather conditions, like rain or fog, can also be more common during certain commute times, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of accidents.
- Monotonous Routes
Commuters often take the same route to and from work every day. This repetition can lead to complacency, as drivers become less attentive to their surroundings and more prone to errors.
- Longer Time on the Road
Longer commutes mean more time spent on the road, increasing exposure to potential hazards. The more time a driver spends driving, the more opportunities there are for accidents to occur.
- Vehicle Wear and Tear
Extended commutes can contribute to increased wear and tear on a vehicle. Over time, this can lead to mechanical failures that may result in accidents.
- Alcohol and Fatigue
Some drivers may be tempted to consume alcohol or drugs to cope with the stress or boredom of long commutes, impairing their ability to drive safely.
To reduce the risks associated with commuting, drivers need to stay alert, avoid distractions, get sufficient rest, plan their routes, and consider alternative transportation options like carpooling or using public transit if feasible.
Contact Our David W. Martin Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in a vehicle collision caused by a negligent driver during your commute in South Carolina, contact our David W. Martin Accident & Injury Lawyers today by calling 803-548-2468 to learn more about your legal rights and options to hold the negligent party liable for your complete recovery needs.
We provide free consultations for all personal injury cases in South Carolina and never charge any legal fees unless we deliver a positive outcome for your unique case.