The Most Dangerous Times to be On the Road!
In a recent study, the International Institute of Highway Safety noted that in the year 2017 alone, there were over 37,000 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents in the United States.
It’s common knowledge that whenever we get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle – we’re potentially risking our lives as it could very well result in an accident.
Albeit not an accident that we’ve directly caused, the risk is still there, and the risk for something more fatal is there as well.
Sure – we can practice safe driving, abide by all the traffic laws, we can wear our seatbelts, and signal when we change lanes or merge, but sadly, some motor vehicle accidents are simply a product of their environment.
By this, we mean that sometimes, certain roadways and areas can become incredibly crowded, see: rush hour.
To help educate everyone, we here at Lawfty Law have put together a list of the most dangerous times to be on the road.
It’s no secret – 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 all across the United States, and certainly leads to its fair share of crashes.
However, 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, we now have an influx of motor vehicles, being operated by tired, angry, human beings – a recipe for eventual chaos!
It’s widely known and reported on by numerous studies 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.
If for some reason you must be on the road in this three-hour window, it’s crucial to make sure that you observe all traffic laws, wear your seatbelt, reduce the urge to speed, and never engage in road rage!
The Federal Highway Administration has noted in the past that more than 20% of all motor vehicle accidents are weather-related.
This is truly a no-brainer, as 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
- Inability to Stop Completely
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimated there were over 10,800 motorists killed due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes in just 2017 alone.
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
Obviously, it’s difficult to not travel on holidays – people want to spend time with their family, get out to the beach, or a barbecue, but it’s important to remember that holidays bring drinking, and drinking means people are generally less responsible – and, that some people may actively choose to drink and drive.
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.
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.
If you can stay in on a Saturday, and travel safely on a Sunday – it may be worth it to make that change!
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