The Deadliest Days on the Road

It’s well known that law enforcement officers patrol the roads in force during the holidays, but statistics show it’s with good reason. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s study of traffic between 1986 and 2002, 40,000 people in the U.S. died each year on the road with holidays being among the worst times to travel. However, the information has helped troopers and drivers prepare, and the numbers have been improving as a result.

In 2010, the last year with full results reported, the number of fatal accidents fell to just over 30,000, which is the lowest total since the NHTSA started keeping track in 1975. Additionally, the Fourth of July had been the deadliest travel period between 1986 and 2002, but does not appear among the top ten deadliest driving days for 2010 despite falling on a weekend that year. However, July did take over the top spot for deadliest month to drive. Saturday and Friday are still the two deadliest days to drive, and rush hour from 3:00 – 6:00 pm is still the deadliest time to drive.

10 Deadliest Days of the Year to Drive

Historical

  1. July 4
  2. July 3
  3. December 23
  4. August 3
  5. January 1
  6. August 6
  7. August 4
  8. August 12
  9. July 2
  10. September 2

2010

  1. September 18
  2. October 16
  3. October 2
  4. June 26
  5. August 14
  6. September 25
  7. July 31
  8. September 4
  9. October 10
  10. May 22

Deadliest Month to Drive

Historical

  1. August
  2. October
  3. July
  4. November
  5. September

2010

  1. July
  2. October
  3. August
  4. September
  5. May

Deadliest Day of the Week to Drive

Historical

  1. Saturday
  2. Friday
  3. Thursday
  4. Wednesday
  5. Monday
  6. Tuesday
  7. Sunday

2010

  1. Saturday
  2. Friday
  3. Sunday
  4. Thursday
  5. Monday
  6. Wednesday
  7. Tuesday

Deadliest Time of the Day to Drive

Historical

  1. 3:00 – 6:00 pm
  2. 6:00 – 9:00 pm
  3. 9:00 – Midnight
  4. Noon – 3:00 pm
  5. Midnight – 3:00 am

2010

  1. 3:00 – 6:00 pm
  2. 6:00 – 9:00 pm
  3. 9:00 – Midnight
  4. Noon – 3:00 pm
  5. Midnight – 3:00 am

Know the traffic rules and drive safely to help try to make this the safest year to drive.


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This article was written by SafeMotorist.com defensive driving staff writers and reviewed for accuracy by defensive driving instructors. All articles are based on current traffic laws and defensive driving practices. This article is intended for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as legal advice or literal interpretation of any specific traffic law.