No matter where and when you are on California roads, it is always a good idea to drive defensively and take safety precautions such as wearing seat belts and obeying the traffic laws. Beyond that, though, are there other lesser-known formulas that increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of a serious accident? For example, are there days of the week that are inherently more dangerous than others, and are there times of the day that are more perilous?
The days of the week, it appears, present fairly clear patterns for driving safety. According to a USA Today article, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive. A close analysis of data dealing with accidents reveals that 6802 vehicle-related deaths occurred on that day in 2016. Tuesdays saw the lowest number of deaths, with merely 4444 recorded. In fact, weekdays overall were the safest days to drive, while the weekend, including Fridays, were the most deadly. The time of day also shows discernible patterns between high fatalities and low fatalities on the road. Crash-related fatalities peak during afternoon rush hour, between 4 PM and 7 PM, and are at their lowest between 1 AM and 10 AM. Alcohol use, a relevant factor in serious crashes, is higher in the afternoon and evening hours.
When it comes to the correlation between weather and fatal accidents, the data is less clear. The National Center for Biotechnology Information presented an article that covered weather and fatal accidents between 1994 and 2012. Among the findings were that the rates of weather-related accidents varied geographically, that rain and wet conditions were responsible for more fatalities than snow and ice, and that California was tied for the second lowest rate of weather-related traffic deaths.