The Most Dangerous Month to Drive is…?September 15, 2011
September is the SECOND-deadliest month for vehicle-related deaths. What would you say is the deadliest month to drive?
December, when people hit the road for the holidays? Or maybe March, when Spring Break revelers flood the streets?
Would you ever guess August?
We didn’t think so. But 16 years of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show August is America’s deadliest month for car accidents. Of every 100 million miles traveled, August’s average fatality rate is 1.09. That means an average of 93 people die in vehicle accidents each sunny August day, which translates to one fatality every 16 minutes. Summer vacations are to blame, when more people take to the streets to drive more miles than they drive any other time of year. Summer afternoons are most dangerous, when streets are packed with commuters and vacationers. This reasoning also explains why September is the second-deadliest month for vehicle-related deaths, ranking just behind August with a 1.08 average fatality rate.
What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones during these dangerous times to drive? Control your own driving as best you can, and be aware of potential hazards around you. These tips can help:
● Avoid distractions. While you’re driving, your social network can wait, so hands off the phone handset. (It’s the law, and you can be cited for fiddling with your phone—and officers will check your text message logs.) Even simple actions, such as changing the song on your iPod or reading a text message, force you to take your eyes off the road, if only for a second. If you think you’re better at multitasking than most drivers, think again: roughly 80 percent of auto accidents are caused by distracted drivers. That figure shows how critical that one second can be.
● Keep your hands on the wheel. Your hands-free phone provides extra incentive to keep your hands on the steering wheel, where they’re safest. The 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions give you the greatest control over your car and enable you to maneuver it quickly if trouble looms.
● Look ahead. Try not to fixate on the car directly in front of you. Instead, look several car lengths ahead to see how traffic is moving and to avoid unexpected road hazards. This will also reduce your chances of rear-ending the car in front of you should that car suddenly stop.
● Watch your blind spots. Blind spots didn’t get their name by accident, but neglecting those zones of obscured vision can certainly cause an accident. Changing lanes is a risky move on the road, so always check your blind spots and physically turn your head to look for cars next to you. Also be aware when you might be in another vehicle’s blind spot, particularly if you’re next to a truck or a bus, and try to minimize the time you spend there.
● Stay out of the fast lane. Just like blind spots, the far left lane is called the fast lane for a reason: most accidents occur there than in any other lane. The fast lane also offers fewer escape options if danger approaches your vehicle.
Though these tips will help minimize the chance of an auto accident, even the most cautious drivers may find themselves caught in a collision. An auto accident can be an upsetting experience, especially if you suffered injuries. You may be in pain and you may feel nervous or confused about what your next steps should be. To cut through the confusion, trust the auto accident attorneys at Hornberger & Brewer.
Our professional staff will guide you through this delicate time and will work hard with the insurance companies to earn the compensation you deserve.
You don’t have to fight alone!
For more information about how Orange County’s premier auto accident lawyers can help with your case, or to schedule a consultation, visit the HGB Law website.
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