Surprising Seasonal Car Accident Statistics

Car accident statistics based on time of year can be deceiving. Weather during “winter months” in northern Maine, for example, can differ greatly from that experienced by drivers in southern California. Though one would naturally believe that winter driving, in general, is more hazardous, and that it therefore results in more crash-related deaths, a closer look at the data suggests otherwise.

In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (i.e., NHTSA), under the direction of the Department of Transportation, is charged with compiling state and federal statistics on the rate of vehicular accidents and injuries that occur within our borders. Their mission is to:

. . . save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs due to road traffic [and] crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement

As part of that mission, the NHTSA makes extensive data available to the general public which includes information related to seasonal trends in vehicular accidents. Specifically, the NHTSA compiles data on fatalities due to crashes that it analyzes by quarter.

Though it seems counter-intuitive, the data suggest that the fatality rate per 100-million vehicle miles of travel (VMT) is actually highest between July and September, at 1.19 per 100 million VMT. During the quarters comprising late fall (i.e., October through December) and winter (i.e., January through March), the numbers are 1.18 and 1.02, respectively. It is important to note, however, that the reported difference between the quarters is quite small, and may not reach statistical significance.

Have you been involved in a car accident near Modesto? Regardless of the time of year during which the accident occurred, it is vital that you secure highly qualified, experienced representation, lest your rights be needlessly trampled. At Arata,  Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin, two of our specialty practice areas are vehicular accidents and personal injury cases. Get in touch with us using our convenient contact form or give us a call at (209) 522-2211 to discuss your case in detail.