Last week, we brought you the staggering findings of traffic fatalities skyrocketing by more than 10% just in the first part of 2016. The upward trend, which began in 2015, was a complete reversal after highways deaths had reached a historic low in 2014.
In this issue, we go deeper into the numbers about the safest – and most dangerous – states in which to drive and the most perilous times for hitting the road.
How The Numbers Were Calculated
Editors at Instamotor crunched the numbers after pouring over data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is normally compiled for the agency’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to identify safety trends.
Most Dangerous States for Driving? You May Be Surprised
While it may be tempting to think that a densely populated state with lots of roads and complicated on-and-off-ramp systems New York would be the obvious guess for the most dangerous state to drive.
Instead, think of wide open spaces with long stretches of straight highway. Think Wyoming.
That’s right; with about 26 deaths for every 100,000 residents, Wyoming lays claim to being the most dangerous state in which to drive.
The NHTSA data clearly showed that seemingly safe and easy-to-navigate rural roads can be much more dangerous – in spite of having less traffic – than those in big cities. Among the various reasons for that is the tendency of people to drive at higher speeds on rural roads and are also less likely to use their seatbelts there.
Rural roads are usually much more narrow, are among the last roads to be cleared when extreme weather strikes and often have deer, elk, and other wildlife crossing.
The other most dangerous states for driving are:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- South Carolina
The Safest States for Motorists
With Massachusetts and Rhode Island tied for the lowest fatal accident rate based upon population, rounding out the top 10 for the safest states are:
- New York
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
Safest Times and Days for Driving
Because there are fewer vehicles on the road, 3am – 6am is the safest time window for driving. The second safest time is right after the morning rush hour, between 9am – 12pm.
The most dangerous time for driving during the week is between 6pm – 9pm for a host of reasons, including dealing with late afternoon and early evening glare from the sun.
Unsurprisingly, Saturday is the most dangerous day out of the week to be behind the wheel, while the lowest number of traffic fatalities generally occur on Tuesdays.
How the Genders Differ
In our previous article, we provided information about why men are twice as likely to be killed in auto accidents than women. Those reasons included tendencies to drive more aggressively, get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol and putting more miles on the vehicles than women.
Looking at the crash data, the safest times of driving during the week (3am – 5:59am) was the same for both genders.
Turning to the weekend, there was a dramatic shift. The wee hours of Saturday and Sunday morning proved to be the deadliest for men while women tended to be more likely involved in an accident between noon and 6pm on Tuesdays.
Reduce Your Risks of Being in a Traffic Accident
Among the ways you can be proactive in reducing your chances of being injured on the road are:
- Always making sure everyone – including you and passengers in the back – are wearing seatbelts
- Avoiding cell phone use – even if you have a hands-free device
- Taking breaks during long trips to stay well-rested
- Selecting and relying upon a designated driver who has had no alcohol
Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm if You’re Injured in an Auto Accident
If you’re injured in an auto accident due to another driver’s negligence, you have a right to expect and receive compensation.
That’s why we urge you to get in touch with us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm. The first consultation is always free so call us at 800-323-9900.