Statistics are frightening for car accidents. According to the Department of Transportation, there are more than 210 million licensed drivers and 6 million car accidents in the United States. An auto accident will affect nearly every driver at least once, if not multiple times during their lifetime.
When is the most dangerous time to drive? Is it during inclement weather? Or a certain time of day? According to this BacTrack article, the 3pm-6pm hour is the most common time for accidents, and it’s not Winter, but Summer, when the most dangerous and fatal accidents occur. Even though the Summer offers the best road conditions, the number of drivers on the road for vacation means congested highways, a larger number of inexperienced teen drivers, and more alcohol-impaired drivers. BacTrack lists 9 of the 10 deadliest days for young drivers happen between May and September.
While snow and ice create more hazardous driving conditions, more people choose to stay home on the worst days, and those that do go out proceed with caution. Accidents that happen in winter weather tend to be slower collisions because drivers have been driving at slower speeds. Accidents that happen in the Summer on dry pavement are usually high speed and have a higher injury and fatality rate.
Even more surprising, it is rain, not snow that brings more accidents. Because rain is a common occurrence, drivers don’t stay home to avoid rain like they do to avoid the snow. Rain impairs visibility on the road and creates longer braking times, but drivers don’t slow down in the rain like they slow down in the snow. More drivers, driving their normal speed in impaired driving conditions means more accidents.