Automobiles are practical forms of transportation, as well as a way to enjoy life. But driving isn’t always safe, with accidents and crashes happening every day. The odds of an accident occurring increase during certain times of day or year, as well as with the presence of other factors like inclement weather and impaired drivers. So when are the deadliest drives happening in the U.S.? To help you stay educated and safe, here’s when you should be the most cautious on the road.
August: the month with the deadliest drives
Summertime is full of sun, warmth, and fun. But this good weather and driving conditions are often negated by other factors when it comes to safety on the road. Using statistics and research, the month of August has been found to be the most dangerous driving month of the year.
According to BACtrack, twice the number of automotive deaths occur during the summer than the rest of the year. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) even found that seven out of the 25 deadliest driving days occurred in the month of August.
Between the years 2012 and 2016, 15,914 people died in car crashes during the month of August, according to Nationwide Insurance. In addition, the IIHS found that August 2nd was the deadliest driving day of the year, with more traffic fatalities on this date than any other date during the five-year span.
Though nothing can be certain, summertime crashes can often be associated with recklessness, impaired driving, and carelessness. And while August certainly proves to be the most dangerous month to be a driver, it’s not the only time you should be wary.
Nationwide Insurance even found that its members reported more accidents in the month of August than any other month, with 60,976 reports in August 2016 alone. This number totaled more than any other month over the previous four years.
Other dangerous times to drive
According to a study by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the summer timeframe between Memorial Day and Labor Day proves to be the deadliest driving time of the year. Shockingly, nine out of ten teen deaths occurring between May and the end of August. Behind August, September and July rank as the second and third most-deadly months of the year.
When it comes to holidays, the roads often become more congested as people are traveling. These times also increase the odds of impaired drivers on the road, in the midst of celebrations.
The 4th of July is ranked by the IIHS as the most dangerous holiday between the years 2005 and 2009. It had the most driving-related fatalities when compared to any other holiday, with teenagers making up 10% of those deaths.
The most-traveled holiday is Thanksgiving weekend, with reports of DUIs being highest between this time and New Year’s weekend in January. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 40% of traffic-related deaths during this holiday season involved drunk or impaired drivers.
According to SafeMotorist, there are certain times of day and days of the week that are more dangerous than others. Rush hour, between the hours of 3 and 6 pm during the week, sees the most traffic and congestion. With that increased traffic comes more accidents. And with people traveling for fun or out for a night on the town, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive.
There’s still time to enjoy the summer before it comes to a close. But as the deadliest time of year on the roads, it’s important to drive safely, defensively, and responsibly. To help avoid becoming a statistic yourself, stay educated, aware, and protected while on the road.