Top 10 Most Dangerous Days to Drive
The roads can be a dangerous place on any given day, but statistics show that certain days stand out amongst the rest for being more dangerous. We happen to be coming upon one of those days this weekend, so be prepared if you plan to be on the roads this St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day
Approximately 276 people were killed on the road over St. Patrick’s Day weekends between the years 2009 and 2013, according to the NHTSA. Out of these accidents, two out of five of the fatalities that resulted involved drunk driving. And, 80% of alcohol-related accidents on St. Patrick’s Day involved drivers who had blood-alcohol levels nearly twice the legal limit. The best way to avoid the possibility of an accident and still have fun is have a designated driver in place before the festivities begin- or better yet, stay off the roads. That can be your lucky charm this St. Patrick’s Day.
Here are some additional dangerous driving days to beware of this year.
The Beginning of Daylight Saving Time
Every March, Floridians “spring forward” and lose an hour of sleep due to time change, and that extra hour of sleep can result in more accidents on the road. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (a division of the NHTSA), traffic fatalities go up approximately 17 percent the Monday following this hour loss of time due to Daylight Saving Time.
Every April 15, there is an increase in accidents on the road. It can be a coincidence, or it can be attributed to the number of people rushing to and from their accountants and the post office trying to meet the tax deadline. The thought of paying taxes can also add a great deal of stress, which can mean aggressive and impatient drivers on the road. Be cautious and be aware of those around you.
Fridays in the summer
Some of the busiest times on the road involve Fridays in June, July or August. Think about it. People may get off work a few hours early to get an early start on weekend plans, and in Florida, this can mean people traveling from out of state to stay at one of our famous beach resorts. This extra traffic can often result in extra car accidents.
Memorial Day weekend
Memorial Day has long-been heralded as the unofficial start of summer, and many people take that cue and run with it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 400 people die annually during Memorial Day weekend from traffic accidents. Additionally, approximately 13 percent more traffic deaths happen on this weekend than others. The reason for this increase in traffic-related fatalities can be directly attributed to alcohol. Accidents are also caused by an increase in people on the road traveling to and from a quick vacation destination.
Fourth of July
The Fourth of July has consistently been marked as the deadliest day to be on the road. Many reasons exist for this statistic. Increased travel on the roads can lead to more accidents, but alcohol consumption can also make this situation even more dangerous as people travel to and from Fourth of July celebrations.
Thanksgiving is another one of the busiest times for travel annually. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has traditionally been known as the busiest day of the year for travel. As people head home from Thanksgiving dinner, many factors play into why accidents are more likely to happen. These factors include exhaustion, increased traffic on the road, and alcohol intake.
The day after Thanksgiving, over 60 to 70 million shoppers can be found at local stores and malls at the very early hours of the morning, which can lead to increased accidents. Most of these end up being rear-end accidents in parking lots, but many can also be rage-related by drivers who have no patience and very little empathy for other drivers on the road with them. Sometimes it is best to stay home and wait for Cyber Monday rather than risk your life and your car by venturing out on Black Friday.
Like Thanksgiving, Christmas is another holiday where accidents are more likely to occur. Roads are more congested with increased travelers going to and from holiday gatherings and many of these drivers have consumed a great deal of alcohol at these celebrations before getting behind the wheel. The stress of the holidays can also lead to increased incidents of road rage, fueled by the other factors of increased traffic and alcohol-intake.
New Year’s Day
Most people would assume that New Year’s Eve, not New Year’s Day, would be the biggest day for car accidents. However New Year’s Day has consistently been the deadliest day of the year for accidents, and alcohol is a prime factor. Keep in mind that New Year’s Day statistics start at midnight, which is when people begin to head home after the New Year’s festivities.
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