Why midnight to 6:00 a.m. can be most dangerous time to be on the road

The Winston-Salem Police Department discussed car break-ins, drowsy driving, and their Forensic Services Squad at its September briefing Wednesday morning. The Fire Department discussed upcoming events.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-- The Winston-Salem Police Department had it's monthly news briefing Wednesday and talked quite a bit about the most dangerous drivers and the worst times to be on the road.

Officer Richardson with the police department's Motor Unit said the top three most dangerous drivers are:

  • People Driving While Intoxicated
  • Distracted Drivers
  • Drowsy Drivers

Between midnight and 6:00am is the most dangerous time to be on the road, according to Officer Richardson. Mainly because that's when most DWI crashes happen and crashes involving sleepy (drowsy) drivers. The city has had four major incidents involving a sleepy driver, according to police reports.

The city's most recent drowsy driver crash was about a week ago when a tractor-trailer driver fell asleep and overturned on US 52 north near the Business I-40 exit.

From September 16, 2016-September 13, 2017, Winston-Salem has had 21 people killed in accidents involving one of the three dangers mentioned above.

Drivers who have a sleep disorder, insomnia, shift workers or they've had less than six hours of sleep are the most at risk to have an accident. 

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Most, but not all driver distractions include: cellphone, eating, GPS or navigation systems in vehicles, Richardson said. Recently Richardson said he ticketed a woman for reading a book while driving down Highway 52 in the city.

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Speed is another reason for many accidents and Richardson said the number one excuse a driver gives is 'I didn't realize I was going that fast'. He said part of it is because the driver was distracted by something and not paying attention to their speed.

Another driving hazard is when time 'falls' back in November, Richardson said. "It's a lot different driving 5:30pm in July than driving at 5:30pm in December."

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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