With summer approaching and the roads getting more crowded, it’s the perfect time to brush up on your safe driving skills. Unfortunately, even the safest driving habits can’t always protect you from the unsafe drivers around you. But you can decrease your risk of injury by knowing peak car accident times and using extra caution when driving during those windows.
We all know the feeling of getting out of work and just wanting to get home as quickly as possible. Or heading out of the house to enjoy a holiday and wanting to throw worries to the wind. Unfortunately, some of the times that drivers are least likely to practice safe roadway habits are also the times when there are the highest chances of serious car accidents. 40,231 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2017, reports the III. Experts agree that the following timetables are among the most dangerous for serious or fatal car accidents:
- Rush Hour – According to BacTrack, most accidents occur between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.
- At Night – Esurance reports that 31 percent of fatal accidents occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight in 2013.
- Holidays – BacTrack named the Fourth of July as the deadliest holiday for car accident fatalities. Other holidays notorious for fatalities caused by cars (for drivers, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians) include Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Black Wednesday. The period between Thanksgiving week and New Year’s Day is cited by many authorities as the most dangerous time of the year for car accident related injuries and fatalities, due to both impaired driving and increased travel.
- Summer Break – the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest days for teen drivers.
While you might not be able to avoid driving during some of these time frames – especially when commuting to and from work – you can practice increased alertness and awareness during these dangerous times and avoid the roads when possible.
How Can You Avoid Serious Car Accidents?
Even if you need to drive during peak accident hours, you can still decrease your chances of being injured on the road. Commit to not driving when you are:
- Impaired/Under the Influence – Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes—that’s one person every 48 minutes in 2017, says
- Distracted – According to NHTSA, distracted driving such as texting, eating, or changing the radio accounted for 3,450 deaths in 2016 alone.
- Drowsy – The CDC reports that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.
- Without a Seatbelt – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that a main reason drivers give for skipping on seat belts is that they’re only going a short distance. But short distances don’t erase the probability of an accident, and chance of death and injuries significantly increase when seat belts aren’t worn.