When it comes to driving, most motorists and passengers know that being out on the roadways involves some risk no matter where they are, the day of the week, or the time of day. However, they might not take time to realize that some days of the year are more dangerous than others to be on the road in Florida.
Studies and statistics reveal specific days out of the year when it’s more dangerous to drive than others. As you might expect, several of these days are holidays, but some might surprise you.
The Top 10 Most Dangerous Days to Drive
#1. The Fourth of July/Independence Day
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that Independence Day was the deadliest day on the road in recent years. Traffic congestion related to long-distance travelers and holiday-related festivities, and alcohol consumption are key contributing factors to motor vehicle collisions happening during this summer holiday. Furthermore, IIHS data shows that July Fourth is the second deadliest day for intoxicated drivers, with 42 percent of crashes involving at least one motorist testing above the legal limit for alcohol.
#2. Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off summer. The pools are open, some kids are out of school or soon will be out of school, and the weather is warmer. However, too many vehicles on the road, combined with alcohol-fueled activities, sadly cause many car accident-related injuries and fatalities. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 450 individuals lose their lives on U.S. roads on Memorial Day. Alcohol use contributes to 41 percent of traffic fatalities over this iconic holiday weekend.
#3. Daylight Saving Time
One study, Spring Forward at Your Own Risk: Daylight Saving Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes, revealed 302 driving-related fatalities with a social price tag of $275 million during the first week of daylight saving time.
Even more shocking, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System found a 17 percent rise in traffic deaths on Mondays after Daylight Savings Time occurs. That’s not all- even after the Daylight Saving Time change, sleep deprivation in drivers can continue to cause further accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
#4. NFL Game Days
Of course, everyone wants to see their favorite team or their home team win. If they lose, it can leave you in a sour mood, but did you know it can impact driving? According to a Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study, your chances of getting into a motor vehicle collision may increase if a driver’s favorite team loses. The study showed increased odds ranging from 8.2 percent to a surprising nearly 80 percent.
Interestingly, if the home team wins, the chances of an accident only rise by 3.2 percent. If the home team loses, aggressive driving causes accident claims to rise to 9.4 percent. The collision effect was the most for the New Orleans Saints stadium (35.3 percent) and the Detroit Lions (28.5 percent). The Pittsburgh Steelers came in third with a 22 percent jump.
#5. Friday the 13th
There may be more than superstition to unlucky Friday the 13th. Information from a recent decade shows that collision claims increased about 13 percent on Friday the 13th compared to other days in the same month. It didn’t matter what season Friday the 13th fell; the numbers always went up.
For example, one British study found that the risk of hospital admission resulting from a motor vehicle accident may increase by as much as 52 percent, even when considering other differences.
#6. New Year’s Day
When people should be celebrating new beginnings and leaving behind the past, many families are stepping into tragedy when they step into the new year. Unfortunately, New Year’s Day, not New Year’s Eve, consistently ranks in the top five deadliest days on the roadways.
It should surprise nobody that alcohol and sometimes drugs are significant factors in these accidents. January 1 was the number one day of the year with the most fatalities related to alcohol, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data.
#7. St. Patrick’s Day
A designated driver is a “lucky charm” on St. Patrick’s Day. This unique holiday is one of the biggest holidays for libations, which is why it’s one of the most dangerous days out of the year to drive in America. During a recent St. Patrick’s Day weekend, 36 percent of fatal crashes involved intoxicated drivers.
Over five years, nearly 300 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes during this same period. After midnight is the most dangerous time to be out on the roadways. Let a designated driver be your “lucky charm” on St. Patrick’s Day, or consider staying home instead.
This holiday marks the beginning of the winter holiday season, and it’s also one of the busiest travel times of the year. As Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, many travelers head out on Wednesday, making it the busiest holiday travel day.
The worst times to travel are between 6 and 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day due to decreased daylight and everyone getting on the road after eating Thanksgiving dinner.
Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., the morning of Thanksgiving is also extremely dangerous as it is when many people are leaving the bar after starting to celebrate the long holiday weekend. Many people call that Wednesday night into Thursday “America’s biggest bar night” or even “Drinksgiving.”
#9. Black Friday
Black Friday is arguably the biggest shopping day of the year. Despite much of it shifting to online sales in recent years, 60 to 70 million or more shoppers at their local malls are trying to get in line for all the best deals. All of the vehicles on the roads and in commercial parking lots, combined with shopping and holiday stress, cause record accidents in parking lots.
In fact, Progressive Insurance discovered that the number of claims arising from Black Friday accidents doubled, and parking lot claims rose by 36 percent.
Christmas can be a stressful holiday-from locating the popular toy for a child, deciding on the perfect gift for your mother-in-law, or dealing with family conflict. HLDI data found that collision claims increased by about 20 percent in December.
Furthermore, the six days around Christmas were particularly deadly, with accident numbers that were 27 percent more than on New Year’s Eve. Everyday holiday stress combined with busy roads can result in aggressive driving. For example, a State Farm survey found that 32 percent of motorists were more likely to show signs of aggression or road rage around the winter holidays.
What’s the Worst Day of the Week for Traffic Accidents?
Saturdays are the most dangerous days of the week to be out on the roads. You can’t arrange your life to stay home every Saturday, but it’s wise to drive with extra care over the weekend. Data from the NHTSA revealed that Saturday afternoon is the most dangerous time of the week on U.S. roadways. Contributing factors include alcohol, speeding, and additional traffic on the roads.
On average, fatal motor vehicle collisions were more likely to occur on weekends, peaking on Saturdays. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nonfatal crashes tended to increase on weekdays but peaked on Fridays.
What’s the Most Dangerous Time of Day to Be on the Road?
Information from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that for both fatal and nonfatal crashes, the peak time of day is between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.
However, peak crash times can vary significantly over a year; for example:
- During the warmer spring and summer, fatal crashes usually peak between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
- Nonfatal crashes typically peak earlier in the day during the summer-from noon to 3:59 p.m.
- From October through March, the peak for fatal crashes is between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
No matter the day of the week or time of day, holiday, or not, there are many common causes of motor vehicle accidents that can contribute to the accident rate. After being involved in a motor vehicle accident, it’s crucial to contact a seasoned car accident attorney to determine how your accident happened and whom to hold accountable.
#1. Intoxicated Driving
It’s not always just alcohol that can cause drivers to become unsafe. Illicit and prescription drug use can also impair drivers to the point where they should not be behind the wheel. Alcohol and drugs both impair reflexes, reaction times, and vision, among other essential skills necessary for safe driving.
#2. Distracted Driving
It’s more tempting than ever for today’s drivers to become distracted. Smartphones, texting, calling, social media, infotainment systems, eating, drinking, applying cosmetics, hygiene, pets, passengers, and what is going on outside their vehicle, such as an accident, can all easily take their attention away from the critical at-hand task of driving. Distracted drivers need more stopping time and distance, and many situations can’t afford that to them. As such, they are more likely to cause an accident.
#3. Fatigued or Drowsy Driving
Recent studies show that getting behind the wheel while fatigued or drowsy can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. This can be especially problematic for shift workers or even truck drivers who might refuse to adhere to federal regulations about their rest periods. Drivers who lose control of their vehicle because they fall asleep can cause serious or even fatal injuries.
#4. Lack of Vehicle Maintenance
Some drivers fail to maintain their vehicles properly. For example, they may have a severely cracked windshield that impedes their vision, severely worn down brake pads, or very worn tires that lack traction or blow out. All drivers are responsible for the proper maintenance of their vehicles. If they fail to act when necessary and subsequently cause an accident, you can hold them liable for the damages they cause.
#5. Driver Inexperience
Younger, less experienced drivers are more at risk for causing car accidents. This also includes semi-truck drivers who are new or perhaps never even received the training they should have.
#6. Inclement Weather
Even though Florida isn’t known for its snow, driving carelessly on roads wet from rain or drizzle can cause severe accidents. Drivers need to be prepared to slow down and drive with caution in rain or fog. They should turn on their vehicle’s lights, leave more space between themselves and the car in front of them, take extra precautions at intersections for drivers who might slide through, and ensure their windshield wipers are in good working order.
Meet With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
Keep in mind that motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere at any time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday, weekend, or just an average weekday. Suppose a car accident injured you or someone you. In that case, meet with an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your claim. You might deserve compensation for your damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, and your pain and suffering.
You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure your health and well-being and help support any legal claim you might have. An attorney can evaluate your accident to determine who is responsible for causing it and the potential sources of financial recovery. They can help protect your interests and settle your claim. If necessary, they can also litigate your case.
Call today to find out what you deserve to recover and what steps you should take next.