Analysis of five years of traffic accident data shows the most dangerous hour to drive in the U.S. is between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., with 8,563 road deaths recorded during the period. The study by Forbes Advisor analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2016 to 2020 to reveal the number of fatalities from road accidents in each U.S. state for each hour, day, and month.
The highest number of road accident deaths occur on a Saturday (25,907 fatalities) and October (13,566 road accident fatalities) is the month with the most fatalities combined between 2016 and 2020.
The second most dangerous hour is from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., during which time 8,387 fatalities occurred between 2016 and 2020, while 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. has the third highest total, with 8,241 deaths.
Weekends in general were a dangerous time to be on the road. There were 23,147 traffic deaths on Fridays, for the second highest total, and 23,038 on Sundays, high enough for third place.
July is the second deadliest month with 13,483 deaths, and September’s total of 13,404 is the third highest.
Looking at individual states, the most dangerous time in 13 states was 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., including in New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, Nevada and Georgia.
In the majority of states the hour when the most road accident deaths occurred was generally between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. However, in South Dakota the highest number of fatalities happened between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., while in Maryland the most dangerous hour fell between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m., and in Rhode Island it was 12 a.m. to 1 a.m.
In total, 40 states have Saturday as their most dangerous day to drive, while six states had Friday as the day with the highest number of crash fatalities – Washington, New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Thursday is the most dangerous day in West Virginia, while it was Sunday for New Jersey and Nebraska, and Monday for Rhode Island.
Monthly data shows that July is when the highest number of road accident deaths occur in 14 states, including Colorado, Nebraska and Indiana, while September and October are the most dangerous in 12 states each. Outliers included Florida, where March ranks as the month with the highest number of fatalities, Arizona, where April was the most dangerous month, and Hawaii and California, where November is the most dangerous.