Avoid Driving on these 10 Days

It turns out that all days are not created equal, especially when it comes to driving.

Statistics
clearly show there are a number of days each year where it’s just more
dangerous out on the road. While most of these bad driving days fall
around a holiday, there are a few surprises that you might not expect.

The
hazards for these high-risk days stem from simply more traffic on the
roads to a higher percentage of drunken drivers and even football fans
who are driving more aggressively than usual.

Here are 10 dangerous driving days:

This
holiday is often considered the start of summer, and in most years, it
is a bad day to drive. According to data from the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 400 people a year die
during a typical Memorial Day weekend, and on average there are 13.1
percent more traffic deaths than on a non-holiday weekend.

Booze is a big factor; 44 percent of all traffic fatalities that occur over Memorial Day are alcohol-related.

It
is a big driving weekend as well.  AAA projected last year that 36.1
million drivers would drive at least 50 miles from home during Memorial
Day Weekend. Too many cars on the road, combined with booze-fueled
parties and barbecues, results in more accidents and more deaths.

2. The start of daylight saving time

Losing that extra hour of sleep just might raise your insurance rates.

A
new study, “Spring Forward at your Own Risk: Daylight Saving Time and
Fatal Vehicle Crashes” by Austin Smith at the University of Colorado
Boulder, found that during the first six days of daylight saving time
there were 302 driving-related deaths and associated costs of $2.75
billion over a 10-year period.

Even
more surprising, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (a division of
the NHTSA) discovered a 17 percent increase in traffic fatalities on the
Monday after the shift to Daylight Savings Time.

3. Black Friday

On
any given Black Friday, there are 60 to 70 million shoppers at the
local mall trolling for bargains. All of those cars, combined with too
few parking spots, lead to a record number of parking lot accidents.

Progressive
Insurance examined its data and discovered that from 2010 to 2011 the
number of claims on Black Friday doubled and parking lot claims rose 36
percent. Rear-end accidents made up 12.5 percent of claims, while 11.1
percent involved a parked car being hit.

Jeff
Sibel, spokesperson for Progressive, offers a couple of tips.
“Protecting your car can be as simple as parking further away in the
parking lot. Use your eyes, ears and mirrors to be on the lookout for
any sudden movements and drive slowly in the parking lots.”

4. NFL game day

Your favorite football team might just get you into a car accident, especially if it loses.

A
study done by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that claim
frequency around the stadium went up on game day. Increases ranged from
8.2 percent to a whopping 79.7 percent.

A
home-team win lessens the increase significantly with collision claims
only rising by 3.2 percent. A loss, on the other hand, led to aggressive
driving with accident claims jumping 9.4 percent.

The
collision effect was highest for the New Orleans Saints stadium (35.3
percent), followed by the Detroit Lions (28.5 percent). The Pittsburgh
Steelers round out the top three with a 22 percent increase.

Some superstitions may just be true.

The
study also found that roughly 9 percent of drivers keep a lucky charm
in their vehicle and an odd 5 percent associated a bird pooping on their
car as a good omen.

6. New Year’s Day

New
Year’s Day turns out to be the big killer, not New Year’s Eve. The
deadliest day of the year varies by year, but New Year’s Day almost
always ranks in the top five. It should come as no surprise that booze
is a huge factor.

Analysis
by the National Safety Council discovered that over the New Year’s
holiday season for 2007-2011, roughly 42 percent of traffic fatalities
were related to drinking and driving.

The
first day of the year is still risky for your car even if you stay
home: Historically it’s one of the days of the year with a high amount
of car thefts.

7. July 4th

According to IIHS data, the Fourth of July ranked as the deadliest day to be out on the road from 2000-2013.

There
are a number of reasons this holiday is so deadly, says Russ Rader with
IIHS, “There’s a lot of travel that day, and more cars on the road
leads to more crashes. In addition, people are going to events that
often include alcohol.”

“The
best advice is common sense. Never go without your safety belt
fastened, obey the speed limit, and don’t drink and drive. If everyone
did those things, we’d have a lot fewer deaths on the July 4th holiday,”
advises Rader.

8. Thanksgiving

This
family holiday ranks as one of the busiest travel periods just about
every year. AAA projected that 46.3 million Americans would take to the
road and drive at least 50 miles from home in 2014. As Thanksgiving
always falls on a Thursday, most travelers head out on Wednesday, making
it the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Thanksgiving
is a driving holiday, and not all drivers are paying attention to the
task at hand. Some are inebriated on booze, turkey, or both. “All of
this leads to more accidents,“ says Kristofer Kirchen, President of
Advanced Insurance Managers.

9. Christmas

The
Christmas holiday season tends to be stressful, and that leads to
accidents. Data from the HLDI show that collision claims increase by
roughly 20 percent in December.

David
Brown, a University of Alabama professor, analyzed 10 years of crash
data in Alabama and found that the six days around Christmas were
particularly deadly, with accident numbers that were 27 percent higher
than New Year’s Eve.

Holiday
stress combined with busy roads can lead to more aggressive driving. A
State Farm survey found that 32 percent of drivers were more likely to
show signs of aggression or road rage during the holidays.

10. St. Patrick’s Day

This can be the mother of all drinking holidays, which is why it often makes the list of dangerous days to drive.

NHTSA
statistics indicate that 276 people were killed over St. Patrick’s Day
weekends from 2009 to 2013. In fact, two out of five crash fatalities
over St. Patrick’s Day involved drunken driving. After midnight is the
worst time to be on the road.

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, a designated driver could be your lucky charm.

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/10-worst-days-for-driving-118807974462.html

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