Why you should be especially careful behind the wheel this week
The summer is over, and the holiday season hasn’t yet arrived. And yet surprisingly, this non-descript down time has a tendency to create real safety risks for drivers. Two days over the coming week are among the most dangerous to be on the road.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released a report on car crash fatalities. It compiled and synthesized crash data across the country from 2012 through 2016 and compared crash trends by date. It then identified the five days of the year with the highest rate of car crash fatalities. The results may not be what you’d expect.
The report found that overall, summer months tend to lead to higher rates of crashes. This finding alone may be surprising to those of us who live in colder climates—expecting that slippery driving conditions would lead to higher rates of crashes. However, the IIHS found that drivers who are in summer vacation mode are more prone to distraction behind the wheel, while drivers remain more focused in extreme weather. The summer claimed three of the five most dangerous driving days of the year: July 4, May 3 and August 2.
The two other riskiest days to drive do not coincide with any holiday or sporting event. But year after year—for reasons the report does not specify—October 25 and November 1 consistently see a spike in traffic fatalities.
While no one can control traffic conditions, staying informed and driving defensively can help reduce your risk of disaster on the road.