The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that although Americans drove less during the pandemic, the number of fatal accidents increased to the highest rate since 2007. The agency reported a 7.2% increase in fatal accidents. This translates to 38,680 accident victims who were killed as a result of a car crash in 2020 alone.
How can I reduce the risk of getting into a fatal accident?
Some parts of the day are more dangerous to drive compared to others. Knowing this and scheduling around it when possible can help to reduce the risk of getting into a serious crash. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the most dangerous times to drive are:
- At night. A lack of light can throw off a driver’s depth perception, color recognition and even impact peripheral vision. These factors, paired with the difficulties that come with adjusting to glaring headlights, make driving in the dark one of the most dangerous times of day.
- During rush hour. The NSC also states that those who drive between 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays are at an increased risk of a crash due to increased traffic as people rush home from work and school activities.
- Saturday evening. The night is bad enough, for the reasons noted above. But add in the increased likelihood of impaired drivers on the roadway and it is no surprise that the NSC reports a spike in fatal crashes on Saturday evenings.
The NSC recommends that drivers who need to drive during these higher risk times operate their vehicles with increased patience to reduce their risk of a crash. They also recommend minimizing distractions and taking the time to know your route before you leave to reduce the need to look away from the road to refer to directions.
What if I am in a serious crash?
Unfortunately, even when we take these and other precautions, accidents can happen. If the crash is the result of another driver’s reckless or negligent driving, you can likely hold that driver accountable for their actions with a civil suit. This can lead to compensation to help cover the expenses resulting from the crash while also serving as a deterrent, helping to better ensure that driver learns from the accident and does not make the same mistake in the future — ultimately helping to increase the safety of your community.