A long commute may not seem like a big deal for most Tennessee drivers. Studies have shown, though, that longer commute times can be bad for your physical and mental health.
In addition, commute times that take place during normal rush hour periods mean there are plenty more opportunities for drivers to get into devastating accidents. There are other things that make long commutes dangerous for drivers regardless of experience or age.
What risk factors are associated with long commutes?
A study showed that most fatal commuter accidents occurred during rush hour traffic times from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. This is due to the massive number of cars on the roads during the mornings right before people have to clock in and in the evenings as individuals are starting to drive home.
The number of cars isn’t the only contributing factor to accidents, though. Many drivers can be distracted by conversations with passengers in their cars, their navigation systems or their cellphones.
The reason that long commutes during prime-time rush hours have a high fatality rate is that one accident can cause injuries to dozens of cars around it. Even if you’re doing everything in your power to be a safe driver, the other drivers on the road can make that difficult.
What other things contribute to accidents?
Heavy traffic and distracted driving are just two things that can lead to accidents during long commutes. Commutes in the morning are especially prone to sleep-deprived drivers who may not be fully awake yet.
Evening commute times may have more to do with inebriated drivers. Even if there are no external factors causing them to be distracted, drivers are more likely to get into motor vehicle accidents during their everyday commute once it becomes part of their normal routine. Their guard is down, so they’re not as on the lookout.
Ultimately, there are things that can be done to make sure your commutes are safer. Making sure your car is in working condition and paying attention to traffic at all times can literally save lives.