The Five Most Dangerous Times to Be on the Road!
The International Institute of Highway Safety determined that in 2017 alone, there were over 37,000 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents in the United States.
We all know that anytime we get behind the wheel of a car, we’re potentially at risk for an accident, or sometimes even something far more fatal. However, what we also all know is that there are several ways that we can all work to prevent any of these situations from occurring. We can practice safe driving, we can abide by all traffic rules and regulations, we can wear our seatbelts, we can signal if we’re changing lanes, and we can make sure that we never divert our eyes from what is in front of us.
But something else that we can do, is pick and choose the times that we decided to get out on the open road. Obviously, sometimes you can’t – whether you’re coming home from work, or going to the doctor, but most likely there are some scenarios where choosing to stay off the road is certainly your best bet.
We’ve put together the five most dangerous times to drive, and we hope they help everyone who reads this find alternative times, leading to fewer motor vehicle accidents and more safety for everyone.
#1: Rush Hour
We all know that if there are more cars on the road, there is an increased likelihood that a motor vehicle accident will occur. Rush hour is the epitome of traffic, and certainly leads to its fair share of crashes, but what’s also important to remember is that rush hour is when the majority of drivers have just left their job, and could most likely be frustrated with their job and the events of their day – most drivers are also tired during this time. So, not only do we now have an influx in motor vehicles, but we also have angry, tired drivers as well – a recipe for eventual chaos.
It’s widely known and studied that there is an influx in motor vehicle accidents between the hours of 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M., and by practicing safe driving, or by avoiding this time altogether, the chances of being involved in a fatal accident can be decreased dramatically.
#2: Poor Weather
The Federal Highway Administration noted that more than 20% of all motor vehicle accidents are weather-related. This is truly a no-brainer, and we all realize that driving during a snowstorm, a tornado, or in an onslaught of hail is a mistake, and should be avoided at all costs as it can save not only your life but the life of any of your passengers.
Most motor vehicle accidents that occur in bad weather are due to a few key factors, such as wet pavement, poor sight distance, and the inability to stop completely.
#3: National Holidays
To put it in perspective, that’s roughly one death every hour.
USA Today put together a list of the busiest travel days in the United States, the top six are as follows:
- New Year’s
- Fourth of July
- Memorial Day Weekend
- Labor Day Weekend
#4: The Summer
The IIHS found that the summer and the fall are the two seasons that produce the most motor vehicle accidents, and they also noted that many of the motor vehicle-related deaths that have occurred in the summer are due to the fact that Americans tend to take to the road more in the warmer weather.
When you analyze the summer, you also have to take into consideration the fact that many people will be drinking – whether that be at the beach, a pool, or a barbeque, this also aids in the number of deaths that occur during the summer, because not only is there an influx in drivers altogether, there’s also a potential influx of impaired drivers.
Researchers also noted that inexperienced drivers on the road and the dramatic shift in weather (intense heat) can play a big role in motor vehicle accidents spiking as well. Road-work and construction also pick up in the summer, as the weather allows workers to be outside working for longer periods of time to complete projects – however, this does bring about detours, closed lanes, and temporary gridlock.
It may be the best season to enjoy time with your family, friends, and the great outdoors, but it’s important to not let your fun impede your driving abilities and the ability to stay safe.
#5: The Weekend
Several studies have shown that Saturday is in fact the deadliest day to be on the open road.
As it’s the first day free after five days of work and school, numerous individuals are typically busy running errands, traveling, and are out and about with their family.
This ultimately leads to congested roads. If you factor in weekend drinkers turned alcohol-impaired drivers, danger and disaster tend to increase.
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