Despite an anxiety around flying that affects approximately 40 percent of the population, plane crash fatalities are significantly less likely than those on the road: Statistics show that the chance of a passenger dying on any flight with one of the world’s major airlines is just 1 in 4.7 million; your chance of dying in a traffic accident, on the other hand, is 1 in 14,000. In 2014, motor vehicle crashes claimed 32,675 lives in the U.S.—around one person every 16 minutes.
According to data from TripAdvisor, Memorial Day continues to be a driving holiday: 70 percent of U.S. respondents will travel by car for their 2016 trip, and 77 percent plan to travel 100 miles or more. And, with summer gas prices dropping to a 12-year low and more people hitting the road in the coming months than last year, Auto Insurance Center, an auto insurance rate and quote company, took the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and crunched the numbers. Based on this study, shared exclusively with Condé Nast Traveler, here are some things you should know before getting behind the wheel.
THE MOST DANGEROUS HIGHWAYS
Unsurprisingly, some of the country’s longest (and busiest) roadways are typically its most dangerous: With the most deadly crashes, I-10, the country’s fourth-longest highway, runs 2,460 miles through eight states: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. In second place is, I-95, which stretches 1,926 miles through 15 states, including Florida, North Carolina, and Maine. I-40, the third-longest in the country, which winds through eight states, comes in third for deadly crashes. I-90, the longest highway in the country, did not make the list. The full list of most dangerous highways is as follows:
THE DEADLIEST DAYS OF THE YEAR
There are typically more drivers on the road during holidays, and this is, sadly, reflected in the number of accidents and fatalities: Over the past five years, Independence Day, Labor Day, and New Year’s Day have all seen an average of more than 100 traffic deaths annually. Two days in August, the 2 and the 27, round out the top five most dangerous days of the year to drive, averaging 108 annual deaths in the past five years.
THE RISKIEST TIMES TO DRIVE
More drivers on the road means a higher likelihood of accidents. Therefore, the riskiest times to drive are between 5 and 6 p.m., when commuters hit the road to head home from work, though Saturday remains the most dangerous day (followed by Friday and Sunday.) August, a peak month for summer road trips, is the deadliest month, followed by July.
Want to lower your risk? Head out in the early hours of the morning, which see the fewest cars on the road. You’re also less likely to run into drivers who have been consuming alcohol.
THE MOST DANGEROUS STATES FOR DRIVING
Despite gripes about New York and Washington, D.C. drivers, those on the road in the Northeast actually have some of the lowest hazard rates in the country: New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and D.C. have the lowest traffic death rates in the country. The states with the highest death rate per capita are Wyoming, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota, respectively.
Source: CN Traveler