car about to drive into a pothole

What Are the Most Dangerous Driving Conditions?

Factors that May Increase Your Risk of Accidents

An estimated 36,096 traffic fatalities occurred in the United States in 2019. This staggering statistic highlights a recurring problem nationwide and leaves many questions about the causes and conditions of these fatal collisions. Despite only 4% of these fatalities occurring on Georgia roads, all motorists should understand what factors may increase their risk of being involved in a fatal collision.

Here is what you should know.

Time

With more people on the roads during the summer, it's not unwise to assume that more traffic fatalities will occur during these months. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), August usually sees the most fatal crashes when drivers get in those last-minute road trips before returning to school.

However, when narrowing the focus to time of day and day of the week, you may be surprised by the results. An estimated 33% of all traffic fatalities occur between 3 and 9 pm, and the least occur between 9 and noon. In terms of days of the week, unsurprisingly, Saturday records the highest number of motor vehicle crashes, followed by Friday and Sunday.

Holidays

Despite the most crashes occurring in the summer, the individual days with the most traffic fatalities are often holidays. Unfortunately, these days are also infamous for the increased rates of driving under the influence.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates fatalities for specific holidays each year during what they classify as the "holiday period" for accidents. In 2020 and 2021, this is what they've found:

  • New Year's Day (December 31 to January 3): estimates 384 fatalities
  • Memorial Day (May 28 to May 31): estimates 415 fatalities
  • Independence Day (July 2 to July 5): estimates 482 fatalities
  • Labor Day (September 3 to September 6): estimates 390 fatalities
  • Thanksgiving Day (November 24 to November 28): estimates 485 fatalities
  • Christmas Day (December 23 to December 26): estimates 340 fatalities

When traveling for your holiday celebrations, remember to never get behind the wheel when under the influence of drugs or alcohol and be aware of what other drivers are doing.

Type of Roadway

Taking the scenic route is an excellent option for anyone looking to enjoy the beautiful scenery while driving but not for those looking to avoid a collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about 56% of traffic fatalities occur on rural roads, despite less than 23% of the country being rural.

There are many reasons why this is the case, and some of the most obvious are that these roads are often not designed with a large (or any) shoulder and can be narrow. Because of this, avoiding a collision on a rural roadway may mean driving into a fence, tree, or into a ditch. Likewise, the probability of encountering an animal on the road increases in these areas.

With no shortage of rural roadways in Georgia, it is crucial that motorists drive at safe speeds—especially at night—and wear a seatbelt.

Roadway Conditions

Depending on where you are located, you may find that the roadway conditions can be a major factor in accident probability. Nationwide, an estimated one-third of all traffic fatalities involve poor roadway conditions, and about 20% of the roads in the United States are in "bad condition."

While this is a pretty broad category, it can be broken down to include many different distinctions that account for thousands of accidents each year, including:

  • Potholes
  • Weather conditions
  • Construction
  • Traffic changes (merging lanes, new lines, exit lanes, etc.)

With the push to improve our nation's infrastructure, the roadways are expected to change. In the meantime, drivers can aim to be more aware of their surroundings and stay alert to changing road conditions.

Northwest Georgia Car Accident Attorneys

Our Pritchard Injury Firm team has been helping Georgia residents obtain compensation for their car crash injuries for years. Our lead attorney, Zach Pritchard, is a highly regarded and awarded member of the legal community and is prepared to handle your case, no matter the severity of your accident.

If you or a loved one are seeking legal representation for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, call (470) 577-8152 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
 

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