Saturdays Are Most Dangerous Day on the Roads: Study
Car accidents happen every day of the week, but do you know which of the seven days is the most dangerous to hit the road?
It's Saturday, according to a new analysis of data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
While the number and severity of accidents continues increasing - largely due to more people driving thanks to a strong economy, as well as a surge in distracted driving - Saturdays account for a disproportionate amount of accidents during the week.
The study also found that the afternoon rush hour is more dangerous in terms of accidents than the morning commute.
Having these facts to hand can hopefully help you remember to take additional precautions and to be extra-mindful:
- 6,802 people died in car accidents on Saturdays in 2016.
- 4,444 people died in car accidents on Tuesdays that same year.
- 5,826 people died on Fridays.
- 5,809 people died on Sundays.
- The deadliest period of the day was between 4 p.m. and 6.59 p.m., with 6,201 crash-related fatalities.
- The fewest fatalities were logged in the mornings from 7 a.m. to 9.59 a.m., when 3,345 people were killed in traffic accidents.
One of the reasons for the higher rates in the evenings and weekends, according to the NHTSA, was drunk driving. Of the 37,461 traffic fatalities in 2016, 10,497 involved drivers with blood-alcohol concentrations of 0/#.08 grams per deciliter or higher, the legal limit for driving under the influence or while impaired in all 50 states.
During weekends, 26% of drivers involved in accidents that involved fatalities were above the legal limit. That's compared with 14% on weekdays.
What you can do
Besides not driving under the influence, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic:
Buckle up - Before leaving home, be sure to put on your seatbelt and remind your fellow riders, too, so you all can be safe while on the highway.
Put down the smartphon - Distracted driving has become a major contributor to rising traffic-accident numbers. Don't reach for your phone while driving, to keep yourself, riders and other drivers safe. Instead, wait until you've pulled over to a safe location before responding to texts and notifications.
Use the left lane for passing - Be considerate of other drivers by driving in the right lane and using the left lane for passing.
Use on-ramps to get up to speed - When merging onto the interstate, use the acceleration ramp to get up to speed and help prevent other drivers from having to put on their brakes or change lanes.
Don't tailgate - Don't drive too closely to the vehicle ahead of you. If they put on their brakes suddenly, you may not have time to react.
If you're drowsy, don't drive - Driving while tired is akin to driving while drunk. Your reaction time is slowed, and so is your perception.
Keep emotions in check - Road rage is a real issue, but it's better to overlook another driver's mistake or negligent behavior. Don't take it personally when another motorist drives like a jerk. Take a deep breath and move on.
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