How to Be Safe on the 10 Deadliest Days on the Road
The American Safety Council recognizes ten days as the most deadly on America’s roads. These days include:
- 1. July 4
- 2. July 3
- 3. December 23
- 4. August 3
- 5. January 1
- 6. August 6
- 7. August 4
- 8. August 12
- 9. July 2
- 10. September 24
Most of these days are on or near holidays and the vast majority fall during the summer months when people young and old tend to take to the highways to visit friends and relatives. This is also often a time when alcohol is consumed in larger quantities.
The American Safety Council statistics went further to show that the deadliest time of day to drive on any day is between 3:00 – 6:00 pm, followed by between 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the first four months of 2012 brought a five-year record high for traffic fatalities. During those early months of 2012, 127 traffic deaths occurred, which is a 19 percent increase over the traffic deaths in that period during the previous year. In response to these alarming early statistics, the Colorado State Patrol instigated “100 Days of Heat” that brought the allocation of additional patrols to help enforce laws against drunk driving during the deadly summer months. In addition, an effort is underway statewide to crackdown on those who do not abide by our state’s seatbelt laws. Through September 2012, 312 people have died on Colorado’s highways this year, 97 of which have been alcohol-related fatalities.
Causes of traffic injuries and Colorado driving fatalities
Certainly drunk driving and not wearing seatbelts are heavily implicated as causes for Colorado’s traffic injuries and fatalities. But, you may wonder what are some of the other driver actions that result in serious injury or death. According to the Colorado State Patrol, inattentive driving behavior (talking on cell phones, texting and eating while driving) contributes heavily to accident statistics. Speeding is also a major factor in fatal or injury accidents as is aggressive driving behavior such as improper lane changes, failure to yield right of way and improper passing.
In 2008, the latest year for which these statistics were available, the Colorado State Patrol attributed the following injury and death statistics to the various poor driving actions:
Crash Factor Fatal Injury Exceeded Safe Speed 28 655 Inattentive Driving Behavior 33 770 Lane Violation 50 391 Following Too Closely 2 96 DUI- Alcohol 78 553 Failure to Yield Right of Way 14 262 Drove While Asleep 17 166 Improper Left Turn 1 119 Exceeded Lawful Speed 18 115 Improper Backing 0 8 Defective Vehicle 3 64 Disregarding Other Device 3 80 Spilling of Load 1 17 Improper Passing 8 59 Other Improper Turn 4 41 Disregarding Stop Sign 4 53 Wrong Side of Road 4 33 DUI- Drugs 4 28 Parking Violation 0 6 Improper Load 0 8 Pedestrian Violation 4 19 Signaling Violation 0 3 Improper Vehicle Lighting 1 3
The best way you can be safe on Colorado’s highways is to buckle up your seatbelt and drive defensively. In addition, never under any circumstances drive or get into the car with someone else who has been drinking. It is also vital that you commit to not answering texts while behind the wheel. Distracted driving is a known killer on Colorado’s roadways.
If you or someone in your family has been the victim of a drunk, careless or aggressive driver, we encourage you to consult the lawyers at Bachus & Schanker for legal representation or advice.