The Most Dangerous Times to Be on Kansas City Roads
Driving is always risky no matter where you live, but certain locales can make driving especially dangerous in various scenarios. It’s important for all drivers to know the best and worst times to drive in their area in order to avoid potential car accidents. It’s also vital to know when to drive with extra caution and which road conditions make driving more dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects accident data all over the country, and some of these statistics can help us determine the most dangerous times to be on the road.
Most Americans head to work in the mornings around 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and then return home between 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in most metropolitan areas. These are typically the most traffic-heavy times of the day, often called “rush hour,” when everyone is either rushing to work or rushing home after work. Generally, accidents are more likely during this time not only because of the increased traffic volume, but also human nature.
People running late for work are more likely to speed or engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel. After work, people who had stressful days at the office just want to get home and may become easily frustrated by the actions of other drivers. If you need to drive during rush hour, it’s important to keep a cool head and follow the rules of the road to avoid accidents.
The NHTSA refers to the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 deadliest days for teens.” Most teenagers and school-age children have their summer vacation between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and teen accidents are more common during the summer. Teens with a lot of free time, minimal supervision, and access to vehicles can pose a serious risk on the road due to inexperience behind the wheel and a higher likelihood of engaging in dangerous behaviors like drinking and driving.
Holidays and Holiday Weekends
Holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and the Fourth of July are some of the most dangerous times to drive. Holidays mean lots of travel, and many out-of-state drivers may be visiting family in your area. Drivers in unfamiliar places are more likely to make mistakes and cause accidents, and drinking and driving is far more prevalent during holidays. During the Christmas holiday, the NHTSA estimates about 45 fatalities per day due to drinking and driving, and about 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday. According to the NHTSA, the average number of alcohol-related driving fatalities is 34% higher during Christmas and New Year’s than the rest of the year.
Driving at Night
Driving at night is inherently more dangerous than driving during the day due to lack of visibility, among other factors. While urban areas typically have street lights and a high level of ambient light, rural areas can be completely black save for the shine of your car’s headlights. Make sure your vehicle’s lights function properly before any type of night driving, and always proceed with extra caution while driving at night.
Driving in Bad Weather
Rain, snow, hail, sleet, freezing rain and even high winds can pose serious risks to drivers. Take care if you need to drive during any type of inclement weather. It’s important to use extra caution to avoid speeding, as accidents and hydroplaning are more likely at higher speeds.
Local Events and Festivals
If any major events occur in your area, you should expect an increase in traffic. “Bike Week,” music concerts, carnivals, state fairs, car shows, and other local events are sure to draw a lot of out-of-state traffic, and this means a higher chance of serious accidents. Plan your travel accordingly if such an event is happening in your area so you can avoid the most congested and dangerous traffic spots.
It’s essential to always use good judgment behind the wheel, and knowing the most dangerous times to drive in your area can help you avoid accidents, serious personal injuries, and costly damages.