Ever wonder if some days or times are safer to drive than others? If you are like me, there are days I come up and tell my wife: “It seems like all the bad drivers are on the road today!” Is that a coincidence? Turns out it is NOT!
Be extra vigilant on Friday and Saturday!
According to the National Safety Council (Injury Facts), the number of fatal crashes is more frequent on weekends, peaking on Saturday. The number of nonfatal crashes is higher on weekdays, peaking on Friday. For both fatal and nonfatal wrecks, the peak time of day was 4 p.m. to 7:59 p.m., but vary depending on the time of year. In general, less fatal crashes occur in the morning and increase later in the day and into the evening hours.
Travel in March, not in October.
During the COVID pandemic, crash statistics were largely sporadic given people’s jobs, crazy store hours, lack of school, etc. Now that things are getting back to normal, so are crash statistics. Typically, less miles are traveled in January and February and steadily increase through July. As a result, traffic deaths were lowest from January to March and elevated from May through October.
Increases in fatalities during COVID.
You would think that with fewer people on the road during the COVID pandemic, the rate of crashes and fatalities would have decreases. Surprisingly, this was not the case. In fact, in 2020 the number of crash deaths increased by 8% despite an 11% decrease in the amount of miles driven. In 2021, the number of deaths increased by an additional 11%.
Researchers blame the increase in traffic deaths in 2020 to three factors: (1) An increase in alcohol-impaired driving; (2) an increase in speeding; and (3) an increase in unrestrained vehicle occupants.
Let this be a lesson to all of us that just because there may be fewer people on the road, whether it be on a Sunday morning or during a pandemic, we should never let down our guard while driving!
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