What Day of the Year Has the Most Car Accidents?

Each year, thousands of people are involved in fatal car accidents. Data from the National Safety Council shows that, in 2019, an estimated 38,800 people died in a motor vehicle accident. That’s 2% less than the year before, but still, thousands of people didn’t make it home to their families because of a fatal accident on the road. As more people drive more frequently over longer distances, it can be helpful to understand which days of the year are the most dangerous for driving.

Fatality rates vary significantly depending on the time of year and conditions of the road. Many might assume that the most dangerous day of the year for car accidents would be during the winter months due to icy road conditions, or on a holiday that’s linked to heavy drinking, like St. Patrick’s Day. Surprisingly, the one day out of the year with the most car accidents is in the summer – on July 4. According to the most recent data gathered by the IIHS in a snapshot period between 2014–2018, July 4 averaged the most fatalities, with other days in the summer months closely behind. Overall, 660 people were killed on July 4 over a four-year average, with a yearly average of 132 deaths.

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Why Does July 4th Have the Highest Number of Fatal Car Accidents?

Independence Day is a time of the year when the entire country celebrates together. Friends and families across the nation travel to spend the holiday together, and the traffic on highways across the country peaks. While Independence Day avoids the icy road conditions of the winter months, the heightened volume of traffic creates a higher risk of car accidents.

When you consider that the Fourth of July is the peak of summer vacation, it becomes an ideal setting for car accidents to occur. Car accidents are more likely to happen for two key reasons:

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1) More drivers mean more accidents

As roads become more congested, drivers are forced to sit in idle traffic, hit their brakes, and quickly accelerate more often. Some drivers become distracted sitting in stop-and-go traffic, and others become more aggressive. That creates a hazardous environment for everyone on the road.

2) People drive more recklessly in the summer

When people are on summer vacation and the roads are dry, drivers are more inclined to drive faster and less cautiously.

Because of an increased number of get-togethers and celebrations, more drivers are intoxicated as well. Drunk driving has been a problem on the nation’s roads for years. Although law enforcement prepares for higher rates of DUIs on July 4, not all accidents can be prevented.

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2) People drive more recklessly in the summer

When people are on summer vacation and the roads are dry, drivers are more inclined to drive faster and less cautiously.

Because of an increased number of get-togethers and celebrations, more drivers are intoxicated as well. Drunk driving has been a problem on the nation’s roads for years. Although law enforcement prepares for higher rates of DUIs on July 4, not all accidents can be prevented.

When Else are Car Accidents Likely to Happen?

According to one USA Today report, which gathered information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Saturdays are the most dangerous day out of the week for drivers to be on the road. In 2016, there were 6,802 accidents on Saturdays. Friday followed closely behind, with 5,826 accidents in one year. Considering most people are off work during these times and celebrating the weekend — often with drinks — these numbers are not surprising.

The USA Today report also revealed that there are certain hours of the day when the risk of car accidents increases. The most dangerous car accidents happen between 4 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. – AKA rush hour. The report refers to data from the NHTSA, which shows that there were 6,201 car accident fatalities during this time. Since most people are off work and heading home during these hours, traffic increases and roads everywhere grow congested. When highways become congested, the risk of a car accident is high.

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How Can I Drive Safely in Congested Traffic?

Driving in congested traffic can be frustrating for anyone. But drivers who allow this frustration to lead to aggressive driving become a risk to everyone. The next time you know that you’ll be driving in congested traffic, consider the following tips:

  • Try taking an alternate route to avoid congested highways. It might take a little longer, but you’ll be less stressed along the way.
  • Remain aware of the cars further ahead of you. Pay close attention if they’re all braking at once to give yourself some notice on what’s ahead.
  • Do not drive aggressively, like weaving in and out of traffic or tailgating other drivers.
  • Accelerate slowly when traffic picks up. That’s a safe driving habit, and it will save you on gas in the long run.
  • Accept the fact that you will be late, and call to notify whoever you’re meeting.

Congestion and heavy traffic are something that most Americans can’t escape. Knowing how to best handle congested traffic will allow you to think clearly and stay calm when driving in these conditions. Staying relaxed and aware of what’s going on around you on the road is key in avoiding car accidents.

Call The Barnes Firm to Speak With Trusted Car Accident Attorneys

As the summer months approach, more people will be on the roads again. t’s essential to understand how to stay safe with the increased risk of car accidents. If you or a loved one got hurt in a car accident because of a careless or reckless driver, the car accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm can help. Our highly-accomplished attorneys will fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. With the help of our injury attorneys, we’ve seen settlement amounts from insurance companies that are several times more than those offered to injured parties without representation.

Contact The Barnes Firm today to schedule your free consultation by completing an online contact form or calling at (800) 800-0000.

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