Real talk: You can get hit by a car anytime as a pedestrian (unless there are no cars around, of course). But the most dangerous time is twilight.
Right after sunset, when drivers are squinting from the light in their eyes, is when most fatal traffic accidents with pedestrians happen. John Nelson of IDV Solutions put together a chart illustrating this. Dark blue is the highest fatality rate. Time of day runs along the top, and months go down the side:
Although sunrise is also a dangerous time for pedestrians, dusk is clearly worse. In January, for example, 38 percent of traffic accidents between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. involved pedestrians, compared to only 8 percent from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. As sunset happens later during the year, the highest rate of pedestrian traffic deaths shift accordingly.
It’s worth noting, however, that dusk during the summer months isn’t as dangerous as winter — fatal traffic wrecks at sunset involved a pedestrian 38 percent of the time in December and January, but only 27 percent of the time in June and July.
So be careful out there, whether you’re walking to the bus or driving home from work this winter!
Get Grist in your inbox