Automobile accidents are bound to happen, but did you know that there are certain times when you’re more likely to have one? No, it has nothing to do with a crystal ball and looking into the future – it has to do with research and simple statistics. And, if you were to guess that the most dangerous day and time to drive your car would be during a blizzard on a Monday afternoon in the middle of December on the East coast…you wouldn’t even be close. But, car insurance companies already know the answer.
As it turns out, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that August is the most dangerous month and Saturday the most dangerous day. If you’re thinking, hey, wait a minute – that’s my favorite time to getaway – that may have something to do with it. You’re not the only one out there with that idea. More people hit the roads during the summer months, especially on weekends, because of the beautiful weather.
In all, more than 40,000 people are killed in the U.S. every year as a result of auto accidents. For people between the ages of 1 and 34, it is the number one cause of death.
According to the NHTSA, Institute for Highway Safety, AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, as well as the University of California at Berkeley’s Traffic Safety Center, which researches motor vehicle collisions and how to avoid them, time of day plays a major role in evaluating fatal car accidents. It really comes as no surprise that night time hours are particularly dangerous, since drunk driving, speeding, fatigue, and driving or riding without seatbelts dominate the period and contribute significantly to the increase of fatality rates.
Alcohol-related crashes account for 54% of all fatalities occurring at night, while 30% involved speeding and two-thirds of those killed at night were not wearing a seat belt. On a broader scale, the national average for deaths happening after dark was 49%. The fewest fatalities were reported between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., due to the least amount of traffic, regardless of road conditions. Meanwhile, mid-week days such as Tuesday and Wednesday also posted the lowest number of fatalities.
Weekends present the biggest problem for car insurance companies as the greatest number of people hit the road. Toss in a warm summer’s day in August and you run a higher risk of becoming a crash victim. Since most crashes are caused by human error, you can reduce your chances of becoming a statistic by following a few simple rules:
- Don’t drink and drive
- Wear your seat belt at all times
- Don’t drive distracted (no texting or talking on the phone)
- Pay attention to weather and potentially dangerous road conditions
- Stay focused and stay alive
Although road conditions during the winter months pose hazards, keep in mind your risks are quite a bit higher in the summer months to be involved in a fatal traffic accident. Remember, no one is invincible. Don’t over-estimate your abilities behind the wheel or your abilities to multi-task. It could be a deadly mistake.
While no one can actually predict an accident, you can make sure you’re getting the best rates on your car insurance. Why not get a free car insurance quote today?
What days do you fear the most behind the wheel? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.