With more than 100 individuals losing their lives every day while traveling, it is important to know what time of the day is most dangerous to be on the road. Insurance companies recognize that there is a pattern of the time of day and day of the week when accidents are more likely to happen. Most fatal accidents are caused by reckless driving, not wearing a safety belt and drinking and driving.
When to Stay off the Road
Choosing when to drive or understanding when not to be on the road can help save your life. The most dangerous times of increasing your potential of being involved in a collision include:
- Saturday – Statistically, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week for being on the road. Based on statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 158 fatalities occur on Saturdays on average.
- August – Out of all the months of the year, August averages the most fatalities on roadways. In 2008, more than 3600 individuals lost their lives while driving on city streets, state highways and nationwide interstates with the most deaths occurring in August.
- Independence Day – Weil many individuals would believe that morning hours of New Year’s Day is the deadliest holiday of the year, it in fact ranks seventh overall. Likely because of the warm weather and the celebration of our nation’s independence, the Fourth of July has historically been the nation’s most dangerous day to be driving anywhere, especially just before sunset when drunken revelers are heading out to watch fireworks.
- Thanksgiving – Out of the three major end of the year holidays including Christmas and New Year’s day, Thanksgiving is by far the deadliest holiday weekend for traveling anywhere.
- 5 PM to 7 PM – While the deadliest time to be on the road is after midnight, the most dangerous time for driving is during evening rush hour that typically occurs between 5 PM and 7 PM. This is because the roads are highly congested and filled with commuters who are often overworked, tired and in a hurry to get home as quickly as possible.
- The Winter Months – Certain parts of the country that experience extreme cold temperatures, like the Chicago Metropolitan area, are highly prone to dangerous roadway conditions during winter months. Drivers are 14 percent more likely to experience a fender bender during the first snowfall of the winter compared to later on during the cold season.
In addition to choosing the safest time to drive during the year, month, day and time, it is also important to know where to drive and where to avoid to stay safe. In California, the I-10 and I-15 freeways are highly congested with dangerous roadway conditions as are the I-4 and I-95 interstates in Florida and the I-76 interstate in New Jersey.
Dangerous Days for Walking
Even though New Year’s Day ranks seventh as the deadliest day to be driving, statistics prove that it is the dangerous day for walking. This is based on an Injury Prevention 2005 article that shows statistics that more pedestrians lose their lives on New Year’s Day compared to all other days of the year, including Halloween night.
In fact, pedestrian fatalities are highest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when statistics show that almost 50 percent of all pedestrian-related fatalities occur. In many incidences, these deaths are the result of pedestrian- or driver-alcohol use where two thirds involved drinking while driving and the other one third involved in intoxicated pedestrian.
It is important to know statistics on when to avoid driving on our nation’s highways, roadways and streets. However, you can significantly increase the potential of being involved in a serious or fatal accident anytime you use illegal drugs or consume alcohol. Driving under the influence ranks second in fatal vehicle accidents after distracted driving.
Other ways to increase your safety include avoiding congested areas and adverse weather conditions, always wearing your seatbelt and following the rules of the road. In addition, avoiding distracted driving can greatly diminish your potential of dying or suffering serious injuries. Common distractions include talking on a cell phone, texting, drinking, eating, changing the station on the radio and speaking to passengers inside the vehicle.