With Fourth of July behind us, you may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief behind the wheel.
While winter can pose the risk of heavy seasonal traffic, summer driving months are typically the most dangerous of the year—and August is the deadliest. Road trips, construction, as well as summer rain storms create additional risks from drivers, whether passing through small town intersections or traveling at high speeds on the interstate.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more Americans are killed in August traffic collisions than in any other month of the year. Though motorists can take any number of precautions, some accidents remain out of driver control. Drunk-driving accidents, auto defects, speeding, and other negligent drivers can put innocent motorists at risk. Our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys are committed to helping Florida tourists and residents prevent accidents and protect their rights in the event of a collision.
According to reports, there are 1.09 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. March has the lowest number of fatalities with .94 per 100 million miles. As shocking as it seems, the agency indicated that an average of 93 people die every day in U.S. car accidents. This means one death every 16 minutes. A large percentage of the most deadly days of the year occur in August.
One of the primary reasons for the spike in accidents is the sheer number of miles traveled on U.S. roads. Analysts surmise that the accident rates rise because more people are driving during August than any other time of the year. This means that drivers are at a greater risk of accident, injury or death on the weekends.
Weekends mean more driving, especially long distances—trips to the store, camping, to family members or to the lake. Reports indicate that Saturdays have the highest number of crash-related deaths, averaging 123 deaths per day nationwide. Comparatively, Fridays are the second highest rate of accidents and Tuesday has the lowest number of crash-related fatalities.
Summer also increases the risk of drinking and driving accidents. When on the road this summer, be aware of the risks of drinking and driving and also be more cautious when on the freeways. When possible, you should avoid driving at night or when visibility is low. More than one-third of accidents occur between 3 and 9 p.m. However, the deadliest hours on the road are between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at night.
August driving can pose addition risks during inclement weather. As we have mentioned in earlier posts, you should avoid driving during heavy rains or tropical storms. If you are stuck in a storm while on the road, you should pull over until the storm dies down or avoid driving all together.
Despite public health campaigns that encourage the use of seatbelts, many of the August deaths can be attributed to motorists and passengers who fail to buckle up. According to the NHTSA, of those killed less than half of motorists and their passengers use seatbelts. This can exponentially increase the risk of fatality in the event of an accident.
August is high-risk month so danger lies ahead! Avoid distracted driving, buckle-up and avoid any unnecessary risks, including driving while fatigued, at night or during a storm.
If you or someone you love was injured, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Summer, Distracted Driving and the Increased Risk of Red-Light Collisions, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, June 18, 2013
Car Accidents and Teenage Fatalities on the Rise in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, April 30, 2013