Avoiding most dangerous times on the road

Driving can be dangerous. Although the number of fatal road accidents per licensed driver is less than half of what it was 40 years ago, death still happens every day on our roads.

We hope that you never experience this worst-case scenario—and we’ll do what we can to help you figure out the most dangerous times (and ages) when it comes to avoiding disaster.

Top 10 deadliest days of the year to drive

1. July 4

2. July 3

3. Dec. 23

4. Aug. 3

5. Jan. 1

6. Aug. 6

7. Aug. 4

8. Aug. 12

9. July 2

10. Sept. 2

It’s sad, but true—Independence Day is the most deadly day of the year to drive. Alcohol consumption certainly plays a part in many fatal road accidents, and, as you can see, the top three deadliest days coincide with traditional times of celebration. Be especially careful on the roads during any holiday season.

Deadliest days of the week to drive

1. Saturday

2. Sunday

3. Friday

4. Thursday

5. Monday

6. Wednesday

7. Tuesday

Thank goodness it’s the weekend—but that’s not reason to relax when you’re on the roads. The deadliest days to drive are Friday through Sunday, with Saturday coming out on top. There’s clearly a lot of dangerous traffic on the weekends, and it’s safe to say that alcohol plays a part in this tragic trend.

Deadliest Times of the Day to Drive

1. 3-6 p.m.

2. 6-9 p.m.

3. 9-Midnight

4. Noon-3 p.m.

5. Midnight-3 a.m.

Rushing home from work after a long, stressful day seems to lead to bad driving decisions. The deadliest time to drive is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., a clear indicator of how much care needs to be taken at the end of the day. Interestingly, the early morning rush hour seems to be safer than any other time of day, perhaps a reflection of a fresher, more alert mind.

When even walking gets scary

If you’re a pedestrian, you shouldn’t be walking home from your New Year’s Eve party Jan. 1 Besides being one of the top five days for crash deaths, it’s No. 1 for pedestrian deaths. And parents should be advised to watch their kids on Halloween. The drivers are scarier than the ghosts, witches or headless horsemen! Day No. 2 for pedestrian deaths, frighteningly, is Oct. 31.

The most important tip

Wear your seat belt, always. In many cases, fatal accidents could have been avoided by passengers and drivers wearing their seat belt.

Don’t be put off from driving! Paying attention and driving carefully can save not just your life, but the lives of others. We hope that the above information gives you something to think about—why do you think certain days or times are more dangerous than others? Discuss these ideas with friends and families, and maybe you’ll make others aware of these deadly times.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Traffic Safety Facts 2004”

From the July 12-18, 2006, issue

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