When you’re given car accident statistics in Virginia, they’re often broken down to an even spacing, perhaps by saying that there are “X” amount of accidents every five minutes, or that there is one accident every “X” seconds. While this can illustrate how common accidents are, it also leads to misconceptions, making people think that accidents happen evenly spaced out throughout the day.

The reality is quite different. Accidents often come in clusters, and the statistics show that rush hour produces the vast majority of them, where rush hour is defined as six to nine in the evening. Even if you expand that a bit, most accidents happen between three and nine. This is also the time when there are the most fatal accidents. In 2010, for instance, there were 5,178 fatal crashes in this time frame, all across the United States.

It’s not really that surprising, as this is when traffic is heaviest. The more traffic, the greater the odds that someone will crash, and the greater the odds that multiple vehicles will be drawn into an accident that, at another time with lighter traffic, may have only involved one or two cars.

Plus, it’s called rush hour for a reason. People are in a hurry. They want to get home in time for dinner, in time to work out, in time to catch their favorite TV shows or in time to see their kids. People are eager to leave work all day long, and it shows in the way that they drive when they’re finally allowed to do so.

Those who are involved in accidents should know what rights they have to compensation.

Source: CoverHound, “What Time of Day do Most Accidents Occur?,” Josh Anish, accessed Oct. 23, 2015