What are the Most Dangerous Days to Drive?
Although everyone knows driving is inherently dangerous and the common activity responsible for the most deaths annually, there are some days that are more dangerous than others. Increases in car accident fatalities tend to cluster around certain holidays, mostly in the latter half of the calendar.
The worst days for driving, in terms of deaths on the road, are:
- The week between Christmas and New Year’s
- Thanksgiving and Black Friday
- July Fourth
- Labor Day weekend
- Memorial Day weekend
The most dangerous days are fueled by two common factors: increased alcohol consumption and poor weather. Although some have started to take note of the so-called 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, fall and early winter are also responsible for greater spikes in fatal car accidents. All these holidays involve increased traffic on roads, and motorists often with more on their minds than the duties of safe driving.
Some holidays such as the summer ones do have increased efforts to curb drunk driving, such as established checkpoints on major roads and public awareness campaigns. However, concentrated efforts are not followed as much during the later holidays. Law enforcement agencies often see personnel concentrate time off requests to be home with family or taking vacations, which can limit the resources to maintain vigilance and repeat successful efforts from the summer.
Another major element of deadly dates on the road is increased driving at night. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest day on the American travel calendar, as millions take to the roads, rails, and airplanes to get home. Many will drive at night, which increases the likelihood for accidents. Crowds trying to get to stores for Black Friday deals often do so in pre-dawn darkness. Roads become congested following evening fireworks on the Fourth, with drivers returning from visiting friends and family between Christmas and New Year’s, and by those dealing with go-home traffic from resort areas over holiday weekends that bookend summer. Poor weather, from summer thunderstorms to cold winds of winter, can exacerbate heavy traffic and lead to erratic decisions behind the wheel.
What Preventive Measures can Drivers Take?
There are some major ways drivers can avoid becoming a statistic from one of these deadliest days. If possible, motorists should stay off the roads during these most at-risk times. Train and air travel is more reliable and safer when going long distances. If going to see family means braving multi-state travel, especially if it snows or there are heavily trafficked highways, it might be easier to fly out and rent a car for local travel. Instead of driving after Thanksgiving dinner, an option is to stay the night or head out when the tryptophan and any alcohol have worn off.
If going out for a holiday known for alcohol consumption, such as Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day, it is wise to designate a driver or use rideshare services, especially if going into a city. Most transit authorities will offer later options to help people get home safely. When driving to resort areas for the summer holidays, motorists should try to leave earlier to account for increased traffic and dealing with potentially unfamiliar areas. While in vacation towns, it is important to slow down and share the road with motorcycles, pedestrians, and bikes. As always, motorists should avoid distractions while on the road and never drink and drive.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Have the Experience to Assist with Your Claim
Even the most cautious drivers can be victims of car accidents. When you are injured, the right lawyer can make all the difference. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can navigate the claim process and help reach the best possible resolution. We can be by your side during settlement negotiations and see you through a lawsuit if one becomes necessary. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.