If you’ve ever spent time behind the wheel, you know that the road can be a perilous place. Motor vehicle crashes and accidents are unfortunately one of the top causes of death in the U.S.1 But don’t despair! We’re here to shed light on the safest time to drive in the U.S., providing you with valuable insights and actionable tips to keep you safe and sound while you hit the road.
The Most Dangerous Times to Drive
To unravel the mystery of the safest time to drive, we must first grasp the dangers lurking around every corner. Car accidents impact the American roads day and night. In 2020, over 42,000 people were estimated to have died in fatal car crashes, according to the National Safety Council.2 These grim statistics remind us that every time we buckle up and start our engines, we’re exposed to risk.
The summer months and holidays, such as Labor Day and Thanksgiving, are considered the deadliest seasons for driving.3 This is most likely because of the nicer weather for driving, and an increase in drivers due to holiday travel. It has also been proven that the most dangerous hours to be on the road in the spring and summer are 8 p.m. through 12 a.m., and in the fall and winter, are 4 p.m. through 8 p.m.4
It’s best to avoid these times to ensure your safety. With these dangers in mind, let’s delve into the heart of the matter – discovering the safest times to drive in the U.S. and additional safe driving tips you can take to steer clear of trouble.
The Safest Times to Drive
According to the NSC’s data, Tuesday is the weekday with the least amount of motor vehicle crashes. With 17% of fatal crashes happening on Saturday, compared to 12.2% on Tuesday, you’re more likely to be involved in a car crash on Saturday than on Tuesday.
As far as times, heavy traffic usually picks up in the U.S. between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays due to work. It’s a good idea to arrive at work around 8:30 a.m. and leave at 4:30 p.m. to avoid not only the traffic but potential danger. Rush hour on weekdays, between 5 and 7 p.m. are usually more dangerous due to the increase in drivers on the road.5
Additional Tips For Safe Driving
During the holidays, especially during the summer, it is recommended to leave a few days earlier than the day of the holiday to avoid the danger of too many drivers. In addition, driving in the morning is safer compared to the evening or late at night.
There are many contributing factors to automotive crashes, but drunk driving is one of the leading causes.
Drive Safe With Ignition Interlocks
People impaired behind the wheel are the most dangerous type of driver. Drunk driving deaths have increased for the second year in a row. Luckily, after learning how to use an Ignition Interlock device properly, this tool prevents drivers from starting their vehicles if they can’t pass the Ignition Interlock test.
No matter what time you’re driving, be aware while on the road and call 911 if you suspect an impaired driver. If you plan to drive after attending an event with alcohol involved, have a ride-sharing app on your phone to schedule a safe ride.
- NHTSA. Newly Released Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/early-estimate-2021-traffic-fatalities
- NSC. Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2020. https://www.nsc.org/newsroom/motor-vehicle-deaths-2020-estimated-to-be-highest
- NSC. Holiday Traffic Fatality Estimate. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/holidays/thanksgiving-day/
- DriversEd. Most Dangerous Times for Driving. https://driversed.com/trending/most-dangerous-times-for-driving
- NSC. Crashes by Time of Day and Day of Week. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/overview/crashes-by-time-of-day-and-day-of-week/
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