40,231 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2017, reports the III. And California drivers are especially at risk. The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports that six of the nation’s deadliest highways are in the Golden State. Most people have probably heard the fact that most car accidents happen within 25 miles of home. With stats like this in mind, drivers can practice heightened awareness and alertness. But what else can California drivers do to both understand and decrease their risk of serious car accidents?

Understanding the Most Dangerous Times to Drive

We all know the feeling of getting out of work after a long day and just wanting to get home as quickly as possible. Or heading out of the house to enjoy a holiday and wanting to just roll down the windows and throw worries to the wind. Unfortunately, some of the times that drivers are least likely to practice safe roadway habits are also the times when there are the highest chances of serious car accidents.

  • Rush Hour – According to BacTrack, most accidents occur between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.
  • At NightEsurance reports that 31 percent of fatal accidents occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight in 2013.
  • HolidaysBacTrack named the Fourth of July as the deadliest holiday for car accident fatalities. Other holidays notorious for fatalities caused by cars (for drivers, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians) include Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Black Wednesday. The period between Thanksgiving week and New Year’s Day is cited by many authorities as the most dangerous time of the year for car accident related injuries and fatalities, due to both impaired driving and increased travel.
  • Summer Break – the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest days for teen drivers.

While you might not be able to avoid driving during some of these time frames – especially when commuting to and from work – you can practice increased alertness and awareness and avoid the roads when possible.

Understanding the Most Dangerous Driving Behaviors

You can help lower the statistics of car accident fatalities by committing to simple safety habits such as refusing to drive when you are:

  • Impaired/Under the Influence – Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes—that’s one person every 48 minutes in 2017, says NHTSA.
  • Distracted – According to NHTSA, distracted driving such as texting, eating, or changing the radio accounted for 3,450 deaths in 2016 alone.
  • Drowsy –  The CDC reports that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.
  • Without a Seatbelt – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that a main reason drivers give for skipping on seat belts is that they’re only going a short distance. But short distances don’t at all erase the probability of an accident, and injuries and chance of death are significantly increased when seat belts aren’t worn.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a serious car accident in the San Diego area? Many car accidents can be traced back to someone’s negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the compensation that you and your family are legally entitled to.