Exhausted motorists, distracted by a multitude of gadgets, are causing more and more crashes.

But new research has revealed the exact day and even the time when those prangs and scraps are most likely to happen.

Insurer IAG analysed all of the crashes that occurred to motorists with its policies to discover exactly when people were getting into crunches across the country.

Take a bow 3pm on Friday, for you are the time when drivers are most likely to crash their cars.


Robert McDonald, the head of the IAG Research Centre and a road safety guru, said by the end of their week the people were knackered by their commutes.

"People are tired by the end of the week and the data is telling us that as the week wears on they tend to have more crashes going to and from work and in the afternoons and this is fairly consistent nationally.

"We're also spending more time commuting and travelling further distances," he told news.com.au.

Across the country, on weekdays, collisions before noon peak at 8am. In the afternoon, collisions are highest at 3pm and continue to be high until 5pm with a decline from 6pm onwards.

McDonald said the fact the most dangerous times was at 3pm, not later in the day, was a sign of the changing commute.

"Rush hour is starting earlier and earlier with lots of people varying their hours to beat traffic and finishing early. From my own observations I've seen traffic start banking up often by 3pm so the old days when the trip home began only at 5pm have gone."

Across most states, Thursdays are second only to Friday in terms of danger. The only exception is the ACT where Wednesday is the most crash prone day of the week.

In NSW, 22,000 collisions occur annually in the afternoon peak up to 6pm. This then drops to just 2000 crashes a year at 11pm and a mere 800 at 1am.


McDonald acknowledged that there were far less vehicles on the road in the wee hours. "At 1am the number of cars is dramatically lower but they could crash more often because of tiredness or being over the limit".

Sunday drivers may be mocked but they are also undeniably safe. After two nights of weekend sleep, drives are more alert and less stressed leading it to Sunday being the day when you're least likely to be involved in a crash.

It wasn't just exhaustion that was leading to crashes though; lack of attention was also a factor.

"There are a massive number of distractions in cars leading to more crashes.

There seems to be no common sense when it comes to people distracting themselves," he said. "There are people using mobile phones, portable GPS, even the car themselves require more interaction, there are a lot more features to control and buttons to push and people are taking their eyes off the road.