When you’re thinking of driving somewhere, there are some times that are better than others to get on the road. There are several contributors to more dangerous times and places. First among them is alcohol. Other factors that raise the risk of getting into a road accident include holidays, sporting events, high-traffic areas, rush hour and lack of sleep. Take a look at these four times of year when these factors tend to be more of a problem on the roads.
Holidays mean more people out celebrating, which means more of one of the biggest contributors to accidents: alcohol. Days to watch out for are Christmas and New Year’s, Black Friday, July 4th, St. Patrick’s Day and Memorial Day weekend. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 885 people died in traffic accidents during December 2017 and more than 800 during Thanksgiving. People also often get into accidents around the holidays if they are driving long distances, and thus long hours, to visit family. If you have to drive somewhere during the holidays, make sure that you don’t drive so long that you are drowsy. It’s better to drive safely during the holidays over shorter periods of time than to be too drowsy to pay proper attention to your surroundings.
When school is out, so are the teenagers, and teens are way more likely to cause traffic accidents than adult drivers. In fact, the period between May and August, Memorial Day and Labor Day, is known as the “100 Deadliest Days” for youth drivers. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 37 percent of traffic fatalities involve persons between 16 and 20 who’ve been drinking. Another reason for more accidents in the summer is that better conditions allow more alcohol-impaired drivers to be on the road, resulting in double the traffic deaths compared to the rest of the year.
After Sporting Events
A number of sports fans live through their teams’ victories, likening it to a live-or-die experience. This kind of high-adrenaline involvement can carry over into driving behavior after the game. This is statistically shown in studies conducted by the University of South Carolina, where traffic fatalities were higher after close-call wins in hometown games. Knowing where events are taking place and steering clear or taking a moment out to settle down after a game win are possible preventive measures.
Start of Daylight Saving Time
When clocks move forward at the beginning of daylight saving time, one hour of lost sleep makes a difference. A study at the University of Colorado Boulder found that there were 302 traffic deaths during the first six days. More light in the evening can also contribute to the possibility of sun glare during commutes home.
Several contributors lead to lack of attention and impairment in assessment and reaction time. Most of the time, it’s due to alcohol, reckless driving due to higher adrenaline or anxiousness, driving through high-volume or busy traffic areas, teens driving in the summer, and lack of sleep. Plan ahead by being aware and staying clear of problem times and areas and avoid these more frequent causes of traffic incidents.
While you’re driving on the road during the safe times, you’ll probably want to have some awesome stickers on your car. Check out our selection of cool stickers!