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As drivers, it’s our job to do our best to stay safe when we’re on the road — both for our benefit and that of others. We do our part by staying under the speed limit, stowing our phones away to resist distraction, and watching for cyclists while we cruise along the roadways. But how often do we stop to think about when and where we’re driving, and how that affects our safety?

While we all have obligations and need to be at certain places at certain times, there might be times where we have the flexibility to choose when and where we travel. In those cases, it’s worth noting which times and routes are the safest to travel along. Not sure what those are? Keep reading.

Where is it safest to drive?

Generally, driving on urban roads in and around cities is safest. This may come as a surprise to some considering the influx of road users during rush hour; but even with more vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to navigate around, statistics show that it’s safer to drive in the city. Even with the higher speed limits on highways, there’s still a higher rate of injury and fatalities on other roads.

Where is it most dangerous to drive?

Country roads are usually riskier not only for drivers, but for all road users. In Canada, Saskatchewan is one of the most dangerous to drive in; between 2007 and 2015, it had either the highest or second-highest rate of road fatalities in the country. And it’s no coincidence that there are a high number of rural roads and intersections in this Prairie Province.

A major reason why rural roads tend to be more dangerous is because they give drivers a false sense of security. Since there aren’t as many vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians on rural roads, drivers are generally less cautious on these roads. There also aren’t as many police officers patrolling rural roads, so drivers are more likely to take risks like driving under the influence, not wearing their seat belts, and speeding. So even though there are fewer vehicles on the road, the ones that are, are more likely to make riskier moves.

In addition, rural roads are narrower than city roads, with just two lanes, making it harder and more dangerous to pass other vehicles.

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What’s the safest time of day to drive?

Naturally, it’s safest to drive in the day time. Sunlight increases visibility so that drivers can get a full view of their route, and easily observe other road users or obstructions that they may be approaching. Of course, there are always those cloudy days when it’s hard to tell exactly what time it is outside, but a little daylight is better than none, right?

What is the most dangerous time of day to drive?

You guessed it — it’s night time. Even though there are lights that line residential streets and city highways, visibility is still reduced in the night. Rural areas aren’t as brightly lit as urban ones, contributing to their high rates of traffic collisions, injuries and fatalities.

If you have the opportunity to plan ahead and choose your route, you might as well choose the safest option available to you. It can reduce your risk of collision, and score you some extra points on your trip with the Onlia Insurance™ app. You can use contextual information like the time of day and type of road to take as a guide, but it’s important to remember that proper safety measures — like obeying speed limits and staying focused — are key to reaching your destination safe and sound.

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