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Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that fatal auto accidents are on the rise. And who is surprised? Distracted driving, or using one’s phone while behind the wheel, is a relatively new phenomenon and has only gotten worse in the last decade. It’s no wonder deadly vehicle crashes are up with so many drivers staring at their sad Instagram feeds as opposed to paying attention to the eighteen-wheeled death machines speeding down the road all around them. With accidents on the rise, online legal referral and review site Avvo.com conducted an analysis to look for trends in the NHTSA’s data. According to their study, Saturday is the deadliest day to be on the road. Is it a good idea to stay in on the weekends more?
To determine that Saturday is the deadliest day of the week for drivers, Avvo.com used the 2016 data gathered by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System which reported 37,461 road fatalities that year. Of those deaths, 6,802 occurred on Saturday. The next two deadliest days of the week were Friday with 5,826 total deaths, and Sunday with 5,809. The safest day of the week to drive based on total road fatalities was Tuesday, with 4,444 deaths.
Avvo’s study also examined the times of day when fatal accidents occurred. According to their study, the deadliest times of the day fall between 4:00 p.m. and 6:59 p.m. – evening rush hour. In 2016, 6,201 auto accident-related fatalities happened during this time. That’s almost twice as deadly as morning rush hour, 7 a.m. to 9:59 a.m., during which time 3,345 deaths occurred in 2016. The second deadliest time period with 6,067 deaths follows just after the first, from 7 p.m. to 9:59 p.m. According to the NHTSA, drunk driving and speeding contributes to these deadly evening periods.
What do these data reveal? For one, evening times are the most dangerous to be driving. Between stressed-out workers heading home after a rough day at the office and post-Happy- Hour tipsy drivers heading home to cure their drunchies, the evening can be a dangerous time to drive. Secondly, Saturdays are also quite deadly, possibly giving people second thoughts about that weekend joyride. Should we all adjust our driving habits in light of these findings?