NHTSA Reports Most Dangerous Times to Drive

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has crunched the numbers and reported on dangerous times for teens and holiday travelers to drive, as well as dangerous times and days of the week to hit the road.

Dangerous times to drive are different for teens, who face nine out of the 10 deadliest days on the road during the summer, and for holiday travelers, who face icy conditions and inebriation on unfamiliar roads while visiting family and friends.

According to the agency, teens face dangerous times to drive during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. One reason the agency notes that teens face so much risk on the dry and clear roads of summer is that teens are drinking at younger ages.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 5.8 percent of 16 and 17-year-olds and 15.1 percent of 18 to 20-year-olds report drinking and driving. The Department of Transportation reports that, unfortunately, in 2010 more than 3,000 teens lost their lives in motor vehicle wrecks. Of those fatalities, reports the agency, two-thirds were male.

teen drivers target of new distracted driving campaignAnother growing concern for teen drivers is “distracted driving,” including use of cell phones, GPS devices, eating, drinking, and any behavior that draws the inexperienced driver’s attention away from the road.

The Fourth of July was found to be the deadliest holiday for drivers, according to the NHTSA, followed by Thanksgiving and New Year’s weekends. Inebriation was cited as the number one cause of fatal auto accidents.

During the Christmas and New Year holiday period, fatalities involving inebriated drivers increase by about 34 percent. 

The deadliest month, unsurprisingly, is December, given its proximity to some of the deadliest holidays for drivers. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported an increase of 12 percent of traffic fatalities related to alcohol. Labor Day also chalked up 147 alcohol related auto fatalities.

Dangerous times to drive also include July 4 followed by Sept. 2, Aug. 13, July 15, May 20, and Nov. 11. New Year’s Eve came in as the seventh deadliest day to drive, perhaps because of awareness methods and colder weather keeps would-be motorists indoors.

According to the agency report, rush hour is also a dangerous time to drive, including the hours of 3 to 6 p.m.. on weekdays. However, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive. Thirty-one percent of all fatal drunk-driving accidents occur on a Saturday and usually take place at night.

It is clear from the agency’s report that the most dangerous times to drive is when inebriated.

If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident, contact the experienced McDonald Worley attorneys to help. An attorney can help protect your legal rights and recover compensation for any damages, medical or other expenses you suffered.


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