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7/24/2012 - The most dangerous hours to drive

The evening hours were the most dangerous on the road.

If traffic in Spain bears any resemblance to the U.S., then a new study indicates that the early evening hours tend to be the most dangerous for motorists.

A team of researchers from Spain analyzed traffic patterns on the highway in a highly trafficked area in the capital city of Madrid. Using a special algorithm to analyze how traffic flowed, they discovered that between 6 p.m and 8 p.m. was the most perilous for motorists, when accidents could potentially lead to an auto insurance claim.

Researchers found congestion significantly increased between these two hours, as during other moments of the day, cars moved along at ordinary speeds and were farther away from each other. However, by the time dinner hour came around, there was more stop-and-go traffic, largely because of many different vehicles accelerating and braking at various intervals.

Previous reports done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have had similar findings, as one of the agency's reports indicated that the fatality rate at night is three times higher than during the day.

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