Is August the deadliest driving month of the year? What Michigan motorists should know

Would you know where to turn if you or a loved one were in a crash? (Copyright (c) 2015 Lopolo/Shutterstock; Image provided by the Sam Bernstein Law Firm)

Do you know which month is the deadliest for Michigan motorists?

Of course, car accidents happen throughout the year for a variety of reasons. Speeding, distracted drivers and hazardous road conditions are just a few of the factors that cause an average of 300,000 crashes every year, according to statistics from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.*

However, when it comes to auto accidents, some months are more dangerous than others. While there are more fatal crashes during the summer and into September, the highest number of traffic deaths occurs in August, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Furthermore, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that seven of the 25 deadliest driving days occurred during August. During one five-year span, a national study found that 18,630 people died in auto accidents during August, with the most fatalities occurring on Aug. 2.

As a result, August is considered the most dangerous driving month of the year.

More dangerous driving times

After August, September and July are the next most-dangerous driving months. Additionally, while there are many serious accidents around Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are more fatalities on the Fourth of July than on any other holiday.

Saturday ranks as the most dangerous day to be driving, followed by Friday. And, the deadliest time of day is from 3 to 6 p.m., which is considered rush hour in most urban and suburban areas.

The ‘100 deadliest days’ for teen drivers

The American Automobile Association** refers to the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 deadliest days” for teenage drivers and their passengers. During these summer months, an average of 8,300 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers over the past nine years. This is about seven fatalities a day, more than the estimated six daily traffic deaths that occur the rest of the year.

Moreover, teen drivers ages 16 – 17 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults.

Because most teens do not attend school during the summer, they have more free time and less structure. And this year, with the majority of pandemic restrictions lifted, there might be more parties, more concerts and more get-togethers with friends. In other words, this summer, there are likely more opportunities for teens to get behind the wheel.

In addition, teens are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Recent research from the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index*** shows 72% of teen drivers ages 16 to 18 reported doing at least one of the following:

  • Speeding in residential neighborhoods and on the freeway
  • Texting while driving
  • Running a red light
  • Driving aggressively
  • Driving when tired
  • Not wearing a seat belt

How parents can help teens stay safe

Because most teens live at home, parents can help teen drivers avoid becoming part of the deadly statistics. Here are some suggestions from AAA:

  • Make sure teens complete a drivers’ education course that includes at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice.
  • Talk with your teens about what it means to be a responsible driver.
  • Stress the importance of wearing a seat belt while driving or riding as a passenger.
  • Discuss the dangers of distracted driving.
  • Prohibit new drivers from riding with other teen drivers or transporting teenage passengers to eliminate a major source of distraction.
  • Model the practices you preach by wearing a seat belt and refraining from using a cellphone while driving.

Summer driving tips for safer road trips

Whether you are driving close to home or traveling to a distant destination, these tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration**** will help make all your rides safer and more enjoyable.

  • Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle that includes a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, blankets and spare clothing, a tire jack and nonperishable food and drinking water.
  • Carry an extra cellphone charger in your car.
  • Plan your route ahead of time and check for weather, road conditions and traffic before heading out.
  • Check the battery, lights, cooling and heating, fluid levels, belts, hoses and wiper blades before a long trip.
  • Inspect tires regularly and always carry a spare that is in good working condition.
  • Make sure children are protected in age- and size-appropriate car seats.
  • Never get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid using a cellphone or engaging in other distracting behaviors such as programming a GPS or eating.

Experienced car accident lawyers are ready to start your case today

Even the most careful driver can have an accident. If you or a loved one is injured in a crash, The Sam Bernstein Law Firm says it can help: “Our knowledgeable legal team knows what it takes to win your case, and we have the expertise and resources to make sure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve.”

Car accident law is complicated, but finding the right car accident lawyer is simple.

Don’t let the legal clock run out. To get your case started, visit this website or call 1-800-CALL-SAM for a free, no-obligation remote consultation from the safety and comfort of your home.