10 Deadliest Days Of The Year To Be Driving On The Road

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By Marcus Fernandez

If you need a reminder about the risks associated with driving, 3,398 people lost their lives in 393,856 crashes on Florida roads in 2023. These accounted for 251,576 injuries. Many factors contribute to causing car accidents, including driver behavior, weather conditions, and increased traffic volume. 

A less obvious factor contributing to an increase in road accidents is the day of the year. Certain holidays and other days of the year, such as moving your clocks ahead in the spring, have higher than usual accident rates. This article identifies the 10 deadliest days of the year. It also explains how to reduce the risk of being involved in a car accident.

Dangerous Driving Day #1: The change to daylight saving time

Advancing clocks by one hour every spring for daylight saving time is associated with increased motor vehicle accidents. A report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health cites darkness during morning commutes and tired drivers adjusting to the loss of an hour of sleep as factors for increased road accidents. 

It takes several days for a person’s internal clock to adjust to the time change, but there are some things you can do to lessen the effects and make you a safer driver, including the following:

  • Start going to bed earlier than usual, a few days before the clocks advance, to prepare your mind and body for the one-hour change.
  • The clocks officially advance on Sunday at 2 a.m. Set your clocks ahead early Saturday evening and go to bed at your normal time. This way, you will not lose an hour of sleep.
  • Go to bed early on Sunday when the time changes to be adequately rested and prepared for the start of the work or school week.

If daylight saving time catches you by surprise and you did not follow these tips to prepare for it, a lack of sleep affects a driver’s mental abilities.Taking public transportation to work for a few days may be a safer option.

Dangerous Driving Day #2: New Year’s Day

If you’re wondering what makes New Year’s Day a deadly driving day, the day includes the hours after midnight when New Year’s Eve revelers head home after a night of celebration. The number of impaired drivers on the road during the early hours of New Year’s Day increases the risk of accidents.

Reduce your risk of being in an accident with an intoxicated driver by avoiding driving during the hours after midnight on New Year’s Day. If you must be on the road, avoid vehicles operated by motorists who cannot stay in their lane or drive erratically.

Dangerous Driving Day #3: Memorial Day weekend

For many, Memorial Day begins summer with a three-day weekend of outdoor festivities. The increase in traffic caused by people traveling throughout the weekend, along with the consumption of beer and other alcoholic beverages, increases the risk of accidents. 

Florida ranks as the third deadliest state for highway deaths over the Memorial Day weekend. You can make it safer by not driving when you have consumed alcohol. Also, avoid driving at times when traffic volume is at its peak.

Dangerous Driving Day #4: Fourth of July

Fireworks, backyard barbecues, and alcohol consumption have become the Fourth of July staples. More cars on the road and the potential for more impaired drivers means you must be extra careful when driving.

Avoid being distracted by fireworks while driving, and stay clear of vehicles driven erratically. If you plan to drink, leave the car at home and use a ride-share or a designated driver.

Dangerous Driving Day #5: Labor Day

Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. This Is also the last opportunity for families to get away before the start of a new school year. However, traffic congestion, short-tempered drivers, and alcohol consumption make Labor Day a dangerous time to be on the road.

Avoid traveling during peak hours to avoid congestion. Leave plenty of time to get to your destination. If you want to be safe, invite friends and family to your house for the Labor Day barbecue.

Dangerous Driving Day #6: Halloween

October 31st is a harrowing day for drivers because of costumed children and parents walking on the road or crossing streets without looking. You also have to watch for drivers on their way to or from Halloween parties in costumes. These may restrict their ability to see or control their vehicles. And, yes, there may be alcohol consumption added to the mix.

If you must drive on Halloween, be extra vigilant for costumed pedestrians, particularly at night when dark costumes make it difficult to see them. When driving to a Halloween party, stow your costume in the backseat. It’s better to put it on after you arrive safely at your destination.

Dangerous Driving Day #7: Thanksgiving

Unless the family is coming to your house for the traditional Thanksgiving meal, you’ll occupy one of the many vehicles contributing to traffic congestion. You’ll usually find the most significant volume of Thanksgiving traffic during the afternoon and late evening hours as people try to get to and from their destinations.

If possible, adjust the time you live and return home to avoid the peak driving times. Give yourself enough time to reach your destination without speeding or aggressive driving.

Dangerous Driving Day #8: Black Friday

If you plan to take advantage of Black Friday shopping discounts, start early before roads and mall parking lots become clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic. The safest way to travel on Black Friday is with extreme patience. Chances are that stores will be as crowded as the roads leading to them. Be patient and avoid aggressive driving behavior that causes accidents. 

Dangerous Driving Day #9: Christmas Eve

Many people celebrate with friends and relatives or attend church services on Christmas Eve, so roads can be congested. You also have last-minute shoppers rushing to pick up a forgotten gift. 

If you travel on Christmas Eve, leave early enough to avoid rushing. Be mindful of the behavior of other motorists who may be impaired while driving.

Dangerous Driving Day #10: Christmas Day

Most employers treat Christmas Day as a day off for all employees, even those who do not celebrate it as a holiday. More vehicles make road conditions less safe.

Traveling safely on Christmas Day means leaving enough time to arrive at your destination without rushing. If you drive to spend the day with family and friends, leave the drive home to someone else when you have been drinking.

Get help after an accident from a Tampa personal injury firm

If you are injured in a car accident on one of the 10 deadliest driving days of the year or at any other time, a Tampa personal injury attorney at KFB Law can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your right to compensation when injured in a car accident.