The Deadliest Times of the Year To Drive Might Surprise You

The Deadliest Times of the Year To Drive Might Surprise You

Holidays are notoriously dangerous on the roads, with New Year’s Day at a 232 percent higher risk for drunk driving accidents. But there all kinds of reasons for crashes and many more days that are perilous. The deadliest times of the year to drive might surprise you once you look past the holidays. No matter what we do to prevent accidents— more stringent drunk-driving laws, cell-phone restrictions, brighter signs with can’t-miss technology—there’s a long way to go.

November

Yes, it seems extreme to collision-blame an entire month, but we have three words for you: Deer. Mating. Season. In some areas, the North American male deer are just not thinking straight from late October through early December; they’re too focused on looking for the ladies and brawling with other males. When deer come up against cars, nobody wins.

Friday the 13th

It’s probably not bad luck, just drivers who are agitated and jumpy and expecting bad luck. Their erratic, reckless driving makes this a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Daylight Savings Time

When everyone loses an hour in March, drowsy drivers become an even more pressing concern. The Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins is a common day for crashes, and things don’t really get back to normal for a few days.

Black Friday

Conspicuous consumers get a holiday, too, and they’re so focused on bargains that they miss a few things driving—like speed limits, other cars, parking spots that are already full, and pedestrians. The surge in online shopping, though, should mean safer Black Fridays in mall parking lots.

August 2

More than 500 people were killed on this day between 2012 and 2016, leading the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to declare it the deadliest day of the year for American drivers. Summer is often dangerous for motorists for many reasons—blinding sunshine, daytime drinkers, relaxed vacationers, and lots of teen drivers. The 16- to 19-year-old age group is the most likely to be involved in car accidents, and they are on the loose all summer—but August 2 is the equivalent of the perfect storm.

NFL Game Days

The Highway Loss Data Institute reports that accident claims around football stadiums spike from 8.2 percent to 79 percent, on average, when there’s a game. There are no statistics to indicate whether the winning or losing fans are more at fault.

October 11

Between 2007 and 2016, this day had the fourth-highest number of traffic fatalities. Why? Because it’s Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday? Or the anniversary of the Apollo 7 launch? No one knows; just steer clear.

Realistically, you can’t avoid traffic forever. If you must go out, a strategy can increase your odds for safety. Now that you know the deadliest times of the year to drive, just focus on the safest day of the week: Tuesday. If you have to go anywhere and want to get there in one piece, do it on a Tuesday.

FAQ

Do NFL games cause issues with traffic and accidents?

The Highway Loss Data Institute reports that accident claims around football stadiums spike from 8.2 percent to 79 percent, on average, when there’s a game. There are no statistics to indicate whether the winning or losing fans are more at fault.

Additional Resources:

Scooters

Uber

High Speed Rail

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