Why will there be so many auto accidents this month?
As a new school year approaches, some families are preparing for one last summer trip this August. August is also important to traffic officials: it’s the month with more auto accident deaths than any other month of the year. Drivers must be careful.
Higher Traffic Risks in July and August
The American Safety Council notes that when it comes to accidents on the road, seven of the ten deadliest days of the year occur in just two months, July and August. Traffic volume has a lot to do with it. These are the months when millions hit the road for summer vacation.
Although traffic statistics for 2019 won’t be verified for a while, the National Safety Council estimates that 565 people were killed over the 4th of July holiday (July 3 to July 7). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that alcohol-impaired drivers have been a major reason for traffic fatalities. In 2017, drunken driving was especially a problem in Washington D.C., Connecticut, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Texas, regions where 36 percent to 51 percent of fatal crashes were due to an alcohol-impaired driver. In Colorado, 27 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities were caused by an alcohol-impaired driver.
The insurance company Nationwide reports that from 2012 to 2016, an average of nearly 16,000 people died in vehicle crashes during the month of August. Driving in August has also been riskier in Colorado.
Hard Braking, Speeding, and Other Driving Sins
August 2 is reported as the deadliest day of the year for driving. This is compounded by other data that shows Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to be the deadliest time to be on the road in any given week.
By using a plugin called SmartRide, which monitors driving trends, Nationwide members have provided data that helps explain the increased risk. SmartRide information gathered in 22 states during August showed that the most common factors contributing to vehicle accidents were hard braking, rapid acceleration, speeding, and traffic congestion.
Yet, Colorado auto accident deaths are increasing despite the time of year while other states are seeing gradual reductions in fatalities. From 2015-2017, there was a 16 percent increase in car accident fatalities according to the National Safety Council. This represents the highest number of auto accident deaths in more than a decade.
To reach your destination safely despite the denser traffic of the summer months, be aware of what is going on around you and avoid risky behavior like drinking and driving or driving while using a cell phone. Follow designated speed limits and require everyone in your vehicle to wear a seatbelt. It’s up to everyone to make sure that the roads are as safe as possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Colorado, contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation.