The Most Dangerous Times to Drive

The Deadliest Times To Be On The Road

Getting into a vehicle is the single most dangerous thing most people do on a daily basis. Between 30,000 and 40,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States. In 2015 alone, 35,092 people died and an additional 2.44 million people were injured in crashes on U.S. roadways, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sadly, more people died in car and truck accidents in Texas in 2015 than anywhere else in the nation. Texas lost 3,516 people in fatal accidents that year—1,323 of which were alcohol-related fatalities.

After decades of research, the NHTSA and other traffic safety organizations have identified the dates and times in which the greatest number of motor vehicle fatalities occur. Staying off the road during these times may help motorists avoid potentially deadly car and truck accidents.

Time of Day and Day of the Week

driver in the car at night

The more cars on the road, the greater the risk of being involved in an accident. As a result, the most dangerous time of day to be on the road is during the rush hour period from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., when people are picking up their children from school, running errands, or heading home from work.

Saturday is the most dangerous day to drive, due to a greater number of vehicles on the road and an increase in alcohol-impaired drivers.

The NHTSA also noted an increase in accidents on Friday from 9:00 p.m. to midnight and early Sunday between midnight and 3:00 a.m.

Time of Year

Summer may often have the best weather and road conditions, but it’s by far the most dangerous time of year to drive, due to an increase in both the number of cars on the road and the escalation of drunk drivers.

The 100-day stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as “The 100 Deadliest Days”—an ominous moniker which reflects the fact that more motor vehicle fatalities occur during this period than any other time of year. It’s particularly deadly for teenage drivers, as nine out of 10 of the deadliest days for young drivers fall between the months of May and August.

Holidays

Not surprisingly, holidays that inspire travel or are associated with social drinking are linked to an uptick in car and truck accident fatalities. According to an analysis of fatal car accidents from 2005 to 2009 conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fourth of July holiday is the deadliest day of the year, accounting for an annual average of nearly 150 fatalities.

A large number of motor vehicle deaths also occur during the period between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. Not only is this period the most common time of year for travel, it’s also the time that drunk driving-related arrests are at their highest.

Other notably dangerous holidays and events for car and truck accident fatalities include Labor Day, Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Super Bowl.

Road and Weather Conditions

Bad weather and road conditions can be a contributing factor in fatal accidents. However, inclement road and weather conditions actually don’t play as much of a role in deadly accidents as people might assume, with one notable exception. Researchers found that fatal crashes were 14 percent more likely to occur on the first day after a major snowstorm, compared to any subsequent snowy day.

Consult an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Serious car and truck accidents can happen at any time of day or night. If you or someone you love were injured in a crash caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

The knowledgeable and award-winning attorneys with McGartland Law Firm can help you explore your legal options. Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule an appointment for a no-cost, no-obligation initial case consultation.