When is the most dangerous time to be on the road?

Ask anybody who drives, and they're bound to tell you that some times are worse than others when it comes to being on the road. The odds are high that you, also, have your "least favorite" time to be on the road. Maybe it's right after the churches let out on Sunday or right after the first few days of the month when many seniors receive their retirement benefits and are out shopping. If you commute, you may even have a strategy to beat the morning rush-hour traffic so that you minimize your danger -- especially on those sleepy Mondays when it doesn't seem like every driver has had their coffee.

But, would you believe that Saturday is actually the most dangerous day of the week to drive? That's the word according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) latest study. In fact, Saturdays are actually twice as deadly for drivers as Tuesdays (the safest day to drive).

When looking at the number of fatal traffic accidents in 2016 by day of the week and time of day, here's what the NHTSA found:

  • Saturday is the worst day for fatal accidents, by far.
  • Friday is the second-worst day, and Sunday is the third.
  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are actually the safest days to be behind the wheel.
  • Thursday only sees a modest increase in fatal accidents.
  • The "afternoon rush" is far worse for safety than the morning rush.
  • The danger in the afternoon starts well before the normal rush hour. Accidents rise significantly between 1 p.m. and 3:59 p.m., peak by 6:59 p.m., and remain elevated until well into the wee hours of the morning.
  • You're actually safest from 7 a.m. and 9:59 a.m. -- right in the heart of rush hour.

There's no clear reason for these patterns, but it's possible that drivers are simply more rushed and distracted the closer they get to the weekend -- and more conscious and focused on their danger early in the week. Similarly, a driver who is just starting his or her day may be alert and resigned to the traffic, while drivers heading home from work may be rushing to beat traffic and tired from their day.

Whatever the cause, a serious motor vehicle accident can upend your life. Find out what you can do to obtain fair compensation for your losses.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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