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Prime time for car crashes, down to the month, day and hour

Perhaps you and yours have survived a summer of driving without a car crash, but do not let down your guard.

A study using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals the safest day to drive, as well as the most dangerous times to be on the road, down to month, day and hour.

About the study

The study released in 2018 by Avvo analyzed information from the NHTSA’s 2016 “Fatality Analysis Reporting System” to determine the number of vehicle crash fatalities that occurred both by day and by time of day. Of the 37,461 vehicle crash fatalities recorded in 2016, 6,802 people died on a Saturday. This number was 53% higher than the 4,444 fatalities that occurred on a Tuesday, the day with the lowest number of highway fatalities and therefore the safest day to drive. The next most dangerous days to drive were Friday and Sunday.

A look at trends

More fatal accidents happen during the summer and on weekends, simply because more drivers are on the road. People go to restaurants and bars, families head out on vacation and motorists are more careless behind the wheel. Perhaps that explains why the afternoon rush hour holds more danger for drivers than the morning commute. By the time work is over for the day, they are more relaxed and, therefore, less attuned to the risks.

Time of day

The Avvo study showed that the most dangerous time of day to drive is between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. time period. The safest time to drive is 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. when, presumably, most motorists are more alert.

Likely causes behind the crashes

According to the NHTSA, one person died every 50 minutes as the result of a drunk-driving crash in 2016, and drunk driving still tops the list of causes for vehicle fatalities. Most traffic fatalities related to alcohol impairment occur on the weekends. However, here is where you must pay particular attention: You and yours have survived May and July, the other two months that rate high for alcohol-related highway deaths, but according to the Avvo study, October is prime time for drunk driving fatalities. Stay alert and stay safe as you motor into fall.

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