What Times of the Year Do Accidents Occur Most Frequently?

By Ursula Nizalowski

It’s no secret that car accidents occur all the time, but there are certain times of the year where
accidents happen more often than others. This is determined by a variety of factors such as
weather conditions, the amount of traffic, and whether the driver is inebriated or not. Using
these factors, organizations like the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have determined that the highest amount of accidents
tend to occur in the summer. Yet various law firms have narrowed down certain holidays as
having a high number of accidents and the winter months can also be deadly. So with that in
mind, let’s look at each accident-prone season to determine how one can be safe.

Though the NSC reports “January and February generally experienced the fewest motor-vehicle
fatalities” in recent years, there’s still a high risk of accidents during the colder months of the
year. In places like Colorado, for instance, there are a lot of areas where ice and snow are
prevalent making the roads unsafe for drivers who aren’t used to such conditions. According to
the Firouzbakht Law Firm, some of the leading causes for accidents during wintertime include
over-speeding, misusing the cruise control function, and not having proper equipment on like
snow tires.

Compared to winter, summer weather is usually not bad in terms of driving. Yet the reasons this
particular time has the highest number of accidents per year is because of alcohol impairment
and reckless driving. In 2020 alone, NHTSA reports stated “alcohol-impaired driving caused  10% of crashes from June to August” and “there were more speeding drivers from May to September” as quoted by the Emerson Straw law firm.

The Holidays
Although it may seem hard to believe that holiday travel is a dangerous time for drivers, the
statistics show this to be true. For instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
reported a yearly average of 145 fatal car crashes on July 4th between the years of 2017 and
2021. Why car accidents increase during the holidays has to do with a combination of drivers
speeding up to get to their destination quickly, congested traffic, and celebratory inebriation.

What To Do About It


Plan Accordingly –

No matter what time of year it is, a driver should ideally be
prepared for anything. And considering how dangerous the road is during a holiday or the peak
of summer travel, having a plan can create less stress for the driver but also ease the passengers’
anxiety. Some exemplary plans include giving oneself adequate time to get to a destination and
“taking an alternate route to avoid congested highways” as advised by the Barnes Firm.

Be Safe –

Even when a driver is understandably stressed due to a variety of internal and
external distractions, that’s no excuse for them to not be considerate of them and their
passengers’ safety. After all, they’re the one who’s operating the vehicle. Thus, it’s arguably
better to be responsible by driving defensively and having a designated driver in case of
unexpected situations.

For more information about the peak times for accidents throughout the year and how to deal
with them, feel free to contact attorney Rick Wagner.