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When Do Car Accidents Happen the Most and How to Protect Yourself

Understanding when car accidents are most likely to occur is a large aspect of defensive driving and road safety. The more you know about driving risks, the less likely you are to be in an accident. In case of motor vehicle accident injury, contact the team at Leighton Law to discuss how you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. If you’re wondering, “When do car accidents happen the most?”, you’re in the right place!

You may be surprised to hear that many car accidents have the same characteristics. Although any wreck or crash is highly individual and traumatic to those it affects, police, insurance companies, and other parties treat them very similarly.

What may not surprise you is to hear that most accidents happen when more people are out on the roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), August typically records the most motor vehicle accidents every year. In addition, car accidents happen more frequently on the weekends vs. the weekdays.

Several factors contribute to higher incidences of accidents during the summer and on weekends. When road conditions are dangerous, it’s important to drive safely and take proper precautions.

Everyone wants to have a fun summer when the weather is great outside. However, accidents can severely impact health, and mistakes on the road or negligence cause thousands of deaths each year.

When Do Car Accidents Happen & Why They Occur

It’s not hard to guess why August and summer weekends are the most dangerous times to be on the road. So let’s take a look at some of the reasons we see more crashes at specific times.

  • More Inexperienced Drivers – When it’s the weekend or during summer break, there will be many teenagers out on the road. They aren’t seasoned drivers yet, so they are more inclined to make judgment errors, miss traffic cues, or fail to follow traffic laws.
  • Leisure Travel – People want to spend more time outside when the weather is good. They book trips to far-off places or to visit relatives. Drivers are in a hurry to get where they are going, so they may not drive as defensively as they normally would.
  • Holidays – When school is out and summer holidays are in session, people on vacation are more likely to drink and have fun with friends. Unfortunately, that usually translates into more people driving under the influence. Whether under the influence of drugs or alcohol, impaired drivers represent a serious risk on the roads.
  • Distracted Drivers – When the weather is excellent, and you have a car full of kids or friends, it’s hard to focus intently on the road. Distracted driving results in accidents every day. People move to change the radio station or check their phone for a text from a friend about where to meet up.

These are just some of the reasons the summer months and weekends are particularly hazardous on the road. Unfortunately, you’re dealing with drivers who aren’t paying as much attention as they should.

When Do Car Accidents Happen? – The Time of Day Affects the Severity of Car Accidents

Hopefully, any accident you or a loved one experiences is minor. Thankfully, most vehicle accidents are. A fender bender is a word that covers most crashes. There is some property damage, perhaps a few scratches, and that’s it.

One interesting fact about road safety is that time of day has a massive impact on crash severity. That’s right, the time of day has a lot to do with how serious an accident is.

Typically, most non-fatal crashes happen in the early to mid-afternoon. 

Deadly crashes most often take place late in the evening, after 8 pm. 

Riskier times shift a bit later in the year when weather shifts and days get darker earlier. For example, in the winter, most fatal accidents happen between 4 pm and 8 pm when visibility is low, and drivers are getting home from work.

Florida Sees A Lot of Bad Weather Crashes

Because the summer months in Florida tend to see heavy thunderstorms, the roadways can become very wet and slick.  Some downpours in the Sunshine State can be so intense that drivers must pull off interstates because there is no visibility – as bad ass a blizzard white-out.

Because of this, navigating the roads in Florida in summer can be especially treacherous.  Add to this rains after a period of dryness, and you get a very slick condition due to the oil on the roadway rising to the top as a film on the road.  Especially for visitors not used to navigating traffic in these weather conditions, this can be deadly.  For this reason summertime driving, while seemingly safer in many parts of the country, can be the most dangerous time of the year in Florida.  Add to this the vacationers for the summer, and it is a recipe for car crashes.

Protecting Yourself on the Road

So, now that we know when most car accidents happen, what does that mean for personal safety, and how should we approach driver safety? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t Let Your Guard Down – Just because the weather is nice and you’re on vacation, don’t assume that roads are safe. Stay focused on the task at hand – getting where you’re going safely.
  2. Don’t Text & Drive – Put the phone down and focus on the road. If you must, use voice to text. Texting and driving is becoming much more pervasive in road accidents.
  3. Obey Traffic Laws – Follow speed limits and watch for road signs. Don’t get into road rage incidents just to get one or two car lengths ahead in traffic.
  4. Practice Defensive Driving – Be on the lookout, keep your hands on the steering wheel, and pay attention to the drivers around you. Defensive driving is a must.
  5. Watch Out for Holiday Drivers – When it’s summer holiday time, you should know that more drivers will be on the road, and many of them won’t be driving defensively.
  6. Look Out for Drunk Drivers – Watch for any drivers going too fast or too slow, swerving, or demonstrating other abnormal behaviors on the road. You’re much more likely to come across people driving under the influence in the evening.

Legal Issues Surrounding Car Accidents

With all of this being said, some people still get in accidents. So what should you do if you or a loved one is hurt in an accident?

Serious accidents inflict what can be significant injuries on victims. People die in car crashes every day, and many more are seriously injured.

Accident victims deal with:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Income from Work
  • Physical Therapy
  • Property Damage
  • Disability
  • Loss of Transportation
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Wrongful Death

Recovery can take months or even years. Some victims never recover physically or financially.

Unfortunately, the impact can still be major when the accident isn’t your fault. Someone else’s mistakes can mean thousands of dollars in damage, medical bills, and other costs.

Should you have to pay for that because someone was texting and rear-ended you, or a commercial truck driver drove for too many hours and ran you off the road?

Absolutely not. If you or someone you love was the victim of a car accident, then you have a right to pursue damages to cover your costs. You can file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company and other liable parties to win compensation for time off of work needed to recover from your injuries.

Getting the Legal Help You Deserve After an Accident

Finding a qualified lawyer to represent you in your case after an accident is vital to any personal injury claim’s outcome. You need someone with experience who knows how much you deserve in damages and how to build a strong case.

Here’s what you should look for:

  • A Proven Track Record – Find a lawyer specializing in car accident victim cases. Also, if you were hit by a commercial truck, hire an attorney with experience representing similar cases. In many instances, you’re going up against trucking companies with resources, so you need competent lawyers who know what they’re doing.
  • Negotiating Settlements – Ask about claims your attorney won for past clients. Negotiating settlements requires expertise and an understanding of your case’s evidence. In addition, you need to know that your lawyer will fight for the maximum compensation possible. This comes in handy, especially because insurance companies will often offer low settlements quickly to avoid paying more down the road.
  • Court Experience – Hire an attorney with experience both successfully negotiating settlements and arguing cases in court. Many clear-cut car accident cases settle out of court. However, it would help if you were ready if you and the liable parties failed to come to terms. Then, you’ll need to argue your case before a judge.

The team at Leighton Law specializes in winning significant settlements for car accident victims. Protect yourself and your family with an expert legal team. Talk to us about your case and discuss the next steps in a free, no-obligation consultation.

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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