6 Most Dangerous Times to Go Driving

rush hour driving_dusk drivingIt’s inspiring to consider how impressively mankind has advanced since the Stone Age—in this enlightened era, we have mechanical can openers, electric irons, and cars we don’t have to propel with our own calloused feet.  Yet, for all our technological innovations and modern conveniences, human behavior as a whole has not always kept up with the progression of time and cultural evolution.  On the road, some people still conduct themselves like cavemen, leading to car accidents in which they or others are seriously injured.

Unfortunately, you cannot keep others from behaving irresponsibly.  What you can do to keep safe, however, is coordinate your own schedule, vigilance, etc. to compensate for a possible lack of consideration on the part of someone else.  The specific times during which you will most likely have to adjust in this way are as follows:

1.  Summertime

June, July, and August are the months that see the most car accidents: in fact, a third of fatal accidents take place during these months.  In addition to the most popular vacation time, holidays see an enormous amount of (often intoxicated) traffic as travelers head to social gatherings and back..  This is counterintuitive to most drivers, who may naturally consider winter to be the most dangerous season for driving.  However, while winter driving conditions may be more difficult in general, the high volume of commuters on the road during the summer months and around holidays makes them a greater risk.  Don’t get complacent just because the weather is fair—no weather is good enough to compensate for reckless driving.

2.  New Year’s Day

As far as single holidays go, New Year’s Day takes the cake for the number of car accidents.  Whether because of drinking-related rituals, a highly festive atmosphere, or sneaking suspicions that the world is coming to an end, anyway, more drivers tend to behave like cavemen on this particular day than on any other throughout the year.  The second and third most dangerous days to go out driving are the Fourth of July and St. Patrick’s Day.  Those venturing out at these times, be they drivers, themselves or even pedestrians, ought to be wary of drivers whose judgment has likely been addled by a late night and/or a liberal application of alcohol.

3.  Late Evening/Early Morning

The hour between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. is the most fraught for motorists.  The span between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. comes in second (and third).  It is during these times that drivers are most likely to be drowsy or in a hurry to get to their destination.  Furthermore, late night and early morning are the darkest parts of the day at which you are likely to see a significant number of cars on the road.  The combination of traffic, drowsiness, and dim lighting comprise a potentially deadly situation.  Avoidance of car accidents requires sufficient rest and alertness at any time of the day.

4.  Friday

Based on 2012 data, Fridays are the most dangerous days of the week to drive.  It seems that when everybody’s looking forward to the weekend, they’re less focused on the practical matters right in front of their noses [or windshields].  Like people heading to holiday destinations or summer vacations, drivers out on weekend excursions are more likely to get into car accidents because there are so many, and because high spirits so often interfere with cautious driving.  If you’ve got to get down on Friday, you may have to drive extra defensively to compensate for increased traffic and holiday atmosphere.

5. During Storms

Storms do not happen at a fixed, predictable time like the other instances on this list, so drivers should monitor the weather forecast for flash floods, freak snowstorms, and other conditions that could affect their ability to navigate the roads safely.  Attempts to drive through moving water, torrential rain, or over ice at high speeds may easily end in car accidents.  Ultimately, it is far better to circumnavigate driving hazards of this sort than to venture into bad weather for which you or your vehicle are not equipped.  When driving in bad weather is unavoidable, it should be undertaken with working windshield wipers, sturdy tires, and whatever else is necessary to ensure that your car is up to the challenges posed by the elements.

6.  A Month After Learning How to Drive

It comes as no surprise that a driver with years of experience is better able to avoid car accidents than a teenager who has just obtained a license.  However, new drivers are at a more pronounced disadvantage than one might imagine:  a driver is 50% more likely to be involved in a car accident during their first month of driving than they are after a year on the road.  Fifty-seven percent of these crashes occur when the new driver is speeding, advancing out of turn, or driving distracted.  It has been suggested that adult supervision even after the license has been awarded may reduce the numbers of new driver accidents and that decreased phone use would do likewise.

In spite of your utmost circumspection, there is always a chance that you may fall victim to a car accident.  Still, if this is ever the case, there’s no reason to watch your health and finances go to pieces like pins under Fred Flintstone’s bowling ball—you still have options.  If you are a resident of the Salt Lake City area, Christensen & Hymas can help you explore those options, whether they include their services as personal injury attorneys or not.  For a free consultation, call (801) 506-0800.

Image courtesy of espos.de

 

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.

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