Most people rely on cars as their primary mode of transportation for several reasons: They’re convenient, fast, and offer greater independence than alternative modes such as walking, biking, and public transit. Modern vehicles come equipped with countless safety features, and drivers often spend enough time on the road to take their safety for granted.
Although a single individual doesn’t personally encounter automobile accidents on a regular basis, they represent a significant threat to safety in America. In people between 1 and 34, car accidents are the leading cause of death, for a total of over 40 thousands deaths each year.
Most of us can’t avoid driving altogether, nor would we want to. However, knowing the statistics of when and how most accidents occur may help you take preventative measures to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
When are the Most Dangerous Times to Drive?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, several times of year prove more dangerous to drivers than others. These include:
Summer. Despite the extended daylight and improved road conditions, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day sees the highest rates of car accidents, particularly for younger drivers. The NHTSA ranked the Fourth of July as the “deadliest day” for driving between 2005 and 2009.
Holidays. Occasions such as Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all coincide with greater vehicle collision rates.
Rush hours. Typically between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m., rush hour accidents happen because there are more cars on the road.
Nights. Reduced visibility and the number of intoxicated drivers could explain the fourfold increase in deaths from accidents occurring after the sun goes down.
What are the Factors that Contribute to Driving Danger?
Driving becomes risky at different times based on varying – and sometimes combined – sets of circumstances, such as:
Increased traffic congestion. Rush hours, holidays, and other occasions requiring more people to travel increases the statistical probability of an accident, as well as the likelihood of aggressive driving.
Inclement weather. Rain, snow, and other meteorological conditions decrease visibility, reduce tire traction, and cause traffic backups, greatly increasing the risk of collision.
Alcohol use. Alcohol impairment dramatically escalates the dangers of driving during holidays, vacations, and special occasions.
Distractions. Most people know texting, talking on the phone, and eating are all extremely hazardous tasks to undertake while driving, yet they still cause accidents every day.
Reckless driving. Speeding, weaving, fast lane changes, and other unsafe operational behaviors all increase the likelihood of fatalities on the road.
When one or more of these elements is present, it increases your risk of collision exponentially. If you can’t avoid driving at these times or in these circumstances, take extra precautions when venturing out, and make sure you and your passengers wear seat belts (but hopefully you do this every time you drive anyway).
Although any time spent on the road carries certain levels of risk, understanding what leads to most accidents can help you avoid dangerous situations. Moreover, engaging in responsible behaviors such as driving sober, eliminating distractions, following the speed limit, and driving defensively gives you the best chance of reaching your destination safely.
If you are involved in an accident and need an injury lawyer, contact Ohio Injury Law today and get the help you neeed!