July 4 remains the deadliest day of the year for vehicle crashes, and July and August are our deadliest months, a
five-year IIHS crash study has confirmed.
If you're reading this, great – that means you survived Independence Day. But stay alert, because two months of summer (and road trips) remain. Plus, the report ranks October and September as the next-deadliest of the upcoming months.
The independent, nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) looked at federal crash data from 1998 to 2014 and found that the results correlated with its earlier analysis from 1986 to 2002. Summer months tend to be deadlier, it said, because that's when Americans drive the most.
Weekends also see fatalities rise. Next to July 4, New Year's Day is our deadliest holiday.
Let's hope that Washington's new distracted-driving law, which takes effect July 23, lessens the risk of crashes. Keeping drivers focused on their task at hand – driving – should help them avoid the distracted pedestrians we've recently spotlighted, as well as any distracted bicyclists out there enjoying the sunshine.
Our family survived last week's deadly July 4 holiday, despite driving cross-state. First off, we ran into a five-mile backup at North Bend thanks to I-90 road construction. It's hard to collide with anything when you're parked on pavement. Plus, with so many state troopers parked on the shoulder, no one dared drive like a demon.
Farther down the highway we enjoyed a little twist of irony. What could be more appropriate than to drive through the metropolis of George, Washington, on our nation's birthday? I couldn't resist pulling off I-90 for a photo when I saw all the Stars and Stripes fluttering.
Perhaps you wonder, when is the least-deadly time to drive? IIHS says it's Tuesdays. And while most fatalities happen during the evening commute, the fewest occur between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.