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What is the Deadliest Day to Drive?

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Most Dangerous Days to Be On the Road

traffic on the highwayCar accidents happen every day all across America. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that for the first 9 months of 2021, 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the U.S. That is up 12% from the same time in 2020 and the highest since 2006.

Certain seasons, days and times of days prove more dangerous than others. Generally any time that sees more drivers on the roads leads to more accidents. This means summertime and holiday seasons are the deadliest days to drive due to high traffic conditions paired with distracted and drunk driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, make sure you have an experienced car accident lawyer by your side. The car accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have been representing accident victims for more than 60 years. We’re passionate about fighting to ensure our clients get the compensation they need to recover from their injuries. And we don’t get paid unless we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.

Holidays Have Higher Rate of Car Accidents

While holiday periods are happy, festive times to gather with our families, they also mean millions of Americans are hitting the roads to travel during the same 2-4 day periods. Mix that with alcohol-fueled gatherings on days like Memorial Day and the 4th of July, and it can be a deadly combination.

Every year, the National Safety Council estimates how many people could die in traffic accidents over the holiday seasons as a means to urge the public to take steps to prevent fatal accidents from happening. Their estimates for how many people may die on the roads in car accidents on these most dangerous holidays in 2021 are:

  • Memorial Day (May 27-30): 415 people
  • 4th of July (July 1-4): 482 people
  • Labor Day (September 2-5): 466 people
  • Thanksgiving (November 23-27): 515 people
  • Christmas (December 23-26): 371 people
  • New Year’s (December 30-January 2): 427 people

Why Do Holidays Have More Car Accidents?

Holiday periods are the most dangerous days of the year for car drivers for a variety of reasons. For one, people are spending longer on the road than they normally would, naturally increasing the risk for car accidents and traffic fatalities.

However, there is also an uptick in drunk drivers on the roads around the holidays. From holiday parties to Independence day barbecues, gatherings where alcohol is present are central to many holiday celebrations. Don’t be an intoxicated driver on the road, putting yourself and other drivers at risk.

There are also more distracted driving incidents on the roads around the holidays. Many driving long distances during a holiday period are more likely to have distractions like eating, texting, talking to passengers. Some drivers will also push themselves to drive with very little sleep to make it to their destination faster.

More Car Accidents Happen on Saturday Than Any Other Day

While holidays are dangerous days for car accidents, obviously many crashes occur outside of these times as well. The day of the week with the highest incident of fatal car accidents is Saturdays, according to the NHTSA. Fridays come in second, followed by Sundays in third, making the weekends the most dangerous time of the week for fatal car accidents to occur. Here is how the days rank in terms of fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2019, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Mondays: 4,348 fatal crashes

Tuesdays: 4,285 fatal crashes

Wednesdays: 4,228 fatal crashes

Thursdays: 4,445 fatal crashes

Fridays: 5,252 fatal crashes

Saturdays: 5,600 fatal crashes

Sundays: 5,086 fatal crashes

Other Dangerous Times for Fatal Accidents

Car AccidentTimes of the Day: For commuters, it will be no surprise that on most days, the deadliest time of day to be on the roads is during rush hour, after 3 p.m. Out of the whole week, the deadliest time to be on the roads is Saturdays from 9-11:59 p.m. According to the NHTSA, in 2019, 1,005 fatal crashes occurred on Saturdays during this time. The second highest time for fatalities during the week was on Saturdays from 6-8:59p.m.

Seasonality: Fatal car accidents occur more often in the summer vacation time period than any other. Crashes begin to increase in May, with rates coming down after September, according to NHTSA data from 2019. The month with the highest fatal car accidents in 2019 was August with 3,083 fatal car accidents. Meanwhile, the month with the fewest fatal car accidents in 2019 was February with 2,200 fatal accidents.

Car Accident Prevention Safety Tips

Fatal crashes on our highways can be prevented. An alcohol-impaired driver does not have to get behind the wheel. That text you need to send can wait until you are safely off the road.

The National Safety Council has some safety tips to avoid a fatal car crash during the dangerous holiday season as well as year-round:

  • Don’t Drink and Drive – Drunk driving accidents won’t happen if people stay sober behind the wheel. During the holidays, you may be more susceptible to trying to drive home after a party. Get home safely by appointing a sober driver before you get to an event.
  • Limit Distractions – Long road trips mean meals on the road, noisy passengers, and hours on the highway with little rest. Make sure you are staying focused while you are behind the wheel.
  • Travel at Off-Peak Times – Plan your holiday travels around off-peak times. Maybe leaving a day later or earlier depending on when you need to arrive.
  • Consider Other Modes of Transportation – Flying is safer than driving to get to your destination. During peak holiday seasons, opt for a plane ticket if it’s within your budget and timelines.

Car Accident Lawyers with Decades of Experience

Whether you’re traveling for Labor Day weekend, during rush hour, or late on a Saturday night, deadly car accidents are unfortunately a reality. Take steps to prevent a fatal car accident by being a responsible driver on the road. But if the worst-case has occurred and a loved one has died in a fatal car accident, it’s imperative you find a car accident lawyer who can help you recover by holding the negligent driver responsible.

For more than 60 years, the car accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have been helping the families of fatal car accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. While we know this compensation cannot relieve your pain and suffering, it can overcome any financial hardships caused by the loss of your loved one. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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