An important part of defensive driving is to make good choices about when and where you drive. To help you minimize your risk, we've compiled some useful facts. Putting them all together suggests that you run the least risk of a fatal crash by driving on Christmas Day between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. The risk is even lower if Christmas falls on a Monday.
On the other hand, you run the maximum risk of having a fatal accident by driving on I-95 in Florida on June 10th between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. when that date falls on a Saturday.
Here's a round up of the deadliest times and places to drive based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (data is from 2008 or an average of the most recent three years) and from The Daily Beast, which recently compiled information on the most dangerous highways.
Most deadly days of the year to drive:
1. June 10
2. June 16
3. July 4
5. July 15
6. June 17
Noteworthy finding: Nine of the top ten deadliest days to drive are in late spring and summer.
Least deadly days of the year to drive:
1. December 25
2. February 27
3. March 20
4. January 24
5. January 15
Most deadly days of the week to drive:
Noteworthy finding: You are 53% more likely to be in a fatal crash on Saturday than you are on Monday.
Most deadly times of day to drive:
1. 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
2. 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
3. 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
4. 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
5. 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Least deadly times of day to drive:
1. 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.
2. 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.
3. 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
4. 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.
5. 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Noteworthy finding: There is a 52% drop in fatalities from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. and between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Most deadly Interstate highways:
1. I-95, Florida
2. I-76, New Jersey
3. I-4, Florida
4. I-15, California
5. I-10, California
Most deadly atmospheric conditions:
2. Snow/Blowing snow
3. Fog, smog, smoke
More interesting tidbits:
Over half of all fatal crashes in 2008 took place in rural areas.
60% of fatal crashes were one-car accidents.
In 2008 74.5% of all fatal accidents occurred on two-lane roads. Check on fatalities along roads you drive with SafeRoadMaps.org's marvelous new interactive map to crash data.
Fatal car accidents are down 15% from the peak in 2005, while fatal motorcycle accidents are up by 13% in the same time period.