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  • Are Car Accidents More Common at Certain Times?

    driving car during the sunsetAnytime a driver gets behind the wheel, they are vulnerable to being involved in a serious car accident. Understanding the common risk factors, such as the most dangerous times to be on the road, can help drivers reduce the chances of getting into an accident with life-changing injuries. Crash data reports have shown that certain times of day, days of the week, and seasons of the year regularly see higher rates of both non-fatal and fatal car crashes.

    Crash data reports shows that the time of day when accidents most commonly happen largely depends on other factors, such as the day of the week and the season of the year. There are many reasons why certain times are more dangerous for driving than others, including the stress of rush hour or school traffic, changes in visibility, busy holiday traffic, and hazardous weather conditions.

    What Times of Day Are Car Accidents Most Common?

    The time of day can have a significant impact on the likelihood of being involved in a car accident. Crash data recently analyzed by the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that, on average, the largest number of both fatal and non-fatal crashes take place between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

    While many drivers might assume that the risk of a car accident increases during the later hours, the time of day often referred to as “rush hour” is shown to be the most dangerous. Traffic is heavier with many drivers traveling home from work, which naturally increases the likelihood of a car accident occurring. During these hours, drivers tend to be tired, stressed, distracted, and anxious to get home. All of these conditions can cause commuters to make driving errors that further increases the chance of being involved in a crash.

    When Are Fatal Car Crashes Most Likely to Happen?

    While car accidents are more common in the earlier evening hours, fatal crashes happen more frequently late at night. The day of the week and time of year each play major roles in the increased risk of being involved in a fatal crash.

    National crash reports consistently show that fatal car accidents are most common on weekends, peaking on Saturdays. The number of non-fatal car accidents tend to be higher on weekdays, peaking on Fridays.

    The following is additional helpful information regarding the most dangerous times for driving:

    • During the spring and summer months, fatal car crashes tend to peak between 8:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
    • The nonfatal crash peak is typically during the earlier summer hours, from noon to 3:59 p.m.
    • From October through March, the peak for fatal crashes is usually from 4:00 p.m. to 7:59 p.m.

    People are more likely to stay out later when the weather is warm and daylight hours are extended. There is more traffic on the roads at night during these months, especially during typical vacation periods. Another significant factor is the increase of drivers getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Teens and adults are more likely to be out late drinking alcohol in the spring and summer months. When a driver operates a motor vehicle while under the influence, it can lead to one of the top causes of fatal car crashes.

    Are Car Accidents More Common During the Holidays?

    The risk of getting into a car crash is substantially higher on holidays compared to any other days of the year. The summer holidays are typically the most dangerous for driving, with the period between the Memorial Day and Labor Day commonly referred to as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. The degree of danger can increase depending on the day a holiday falls and the length of weekend celebrations.

    Drivers should keep in mind that driving during one of six major holidays comes with added risk:

    • Christmas to New Year’s Day: Historically, the days between Christmas Eve and January 2nd see the most fatal car crashes.
    • Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving is the second deadliest holiday for drivers, as a result of it being one of the busiest days for travel.
    • Memorial Day: Memorial Day weekend is considered one of the deadliest of the year due to the high rate of car crashes over the three-day weekend.
    • Labor Day: Data shows that traffic fatalities on Labor Day account for most crashes reported in the month of September.
    • Fourth of July: The Fourth of July is typically the most dangerous day of the year for alcohol-related fatal car accidents.
    • New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Eve going into the early morning hours of New Year’s Day is a dangerous time for driving due to the number of people traveling while under the influence.

    Holiday car accidents in the winter often involve factors such as alcohol, distracted driving, speeding, and bad weather. While some causes of car accidents are out of a driver’s control, most are related to negligence and bad driving behaviors.

    In the summer months, teens are one of the most vulnerable groups and account for a high proportion of traffic fatalities. Teens are more likely to be involved in accidents in May, June, and July, when they spend more time on the road during summer vacation.

    How Can I Avoid a Car Accident During the Most Dangerous Times?

    No matter what time of the day or season of the year, drivers should be in the habit of planning ahead and driving defensively to minimize the risk of an accident.

    Drivers can help avoid a car accident by following these safe driving practices:

    • Following traffic reports.
    • Keeping an eye of weather conditions.
    • Obeying all traffic signs, lights, and signals.
    • Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles.
    • Following the posted speed limit.
    • Staying alert and aware.
    • Preparing for unexpected road conditions.
    • Never driving while under the influence.
    • Avoiding careless and reckless drivers on the road.

    What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Car Accident?

    Car accident cases can be complicated, especially when there are multiple factors and at-fault parties involved. If you or someone you love has been involved in a crash, you should consult with an experienced lawyer who will help investigate your case, identify all liable parties, and pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.

    Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP have an unparalleled success rate for helping clients recover millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for their physical, emotional, and financial damages:

    • $4.5 million settlement for car accident spinal cord injury. Our client was left paralyzed from spinal cords injuries suffered in a head-on collision. Our legal team filed claims against the other driver, as well as the auto manufacturer for defective seat belts and overall crashworthiness of the vehicle. We recovered a $4,500,000 settlement award on behalf of our injured client.
    • $1 million verdict for car accident. Our client suffered severe injuries in a car accident, including a fractured pelvis and broken leg. When the defendant’s insurance company proposed an insufficient settlement, we advised our client to decline the offer and proceeded to take the case to trial. The jury returned a $1,000,000 verdict award in favor of our client.

    Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Clients Injured in a Variety of Car Accidents

    If you or someone you love has been seriously harmed in a car crash, our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP are here to help. We have extensive knowledge of the relevant laws and court rules that directly affect our clients’ legal needs and goals. Located in Philadelphia, Reading, Bethlehem, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)