Watch out for the 100 deadliest days of driving


Watch out for the 100 deadliest days of driving

Source: FleetAnswers Did you know that certain days of the year are more deadly than others, at least for drivers? One might think that winter months, with the snow and ice they bring to many parts of the country, would be the most dangerous, but this is not true. It's actually the months of June, July and August, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, that carries the highest risk. Known as the 100 Deadliest Days for Drivers, these weeks are times when fleet drivers need to be aware of what is happening on the road around them.

According to this infographic from the National Safety Council, in 2012 there were nearly 10,000 deaths between Memorial Day and Labor Day due to car crashes. This is a significant number, and one that should make fleet managers and drivers take notice.

What is it about these weeks that makes them so dangerous? One of the most obvious is the larger number of vehicles on the road, and the longer distances many drivers are driving. Summer is the time when vacation is common, and Americans are on the move. In 2013, Americans logged over 780 billion miles on their vehicles during these 100 days. That is a lot of driving. With a lot of driving comes more opportunities for crashes.

Add to this the fact that drivers in the summer have more distractions, and you have the recipe for a deadly situation. Why are summer drivers more distracted? Summer is a busy time, and they have more opportunities to grab the phone and send a quick text or make a quick phone call to finalize plans. Summer drivers are more likely to have friends in the car with them as well, and parents will have their children in the car being a distraction.

What does this mean for the fleet driver? It means that fleet drivers need to be even more aware of what is going on around them, so they can avoid becoming involved in a crash.

Tips to Drive Safely During the Summer

  • Stay off the Phone - Summer brings more opportunities to chat about upcoming plans and after-work parties. Turn off the phone or use a hands-free device to lower your risk.
  • Stay Rested - Fleet drivers have to be rested when behind the wheel, but the late nights of summer can make this difficult. Make sure that you are getting sufficient sleep when you will be working the next day, and save the late night backyard parties for those times when you don't have to be on the road the next day.
  • Stay Sober - It should go without saying that fleet drivers should not drink and drive, but summer brings more opportunities for drinking. Ensure that you are fully sober whenever you take the wheel and head out on the road.
  • Be Aware - You as a professional driver may be paying attention to these safety factors, but the others on the road with you may not. Be aware of what other drivers are doing, and know what your "out" is when they are not following safe driving practices. Avoid a crash due to someone else's behavior by being aware.
  • Buckle Up - Fleet drivers should not be driving without a seatbelt, but remember that half of those killed in car crashes are not wearing a seatbelt. Fleet drivers and their passengers need to ensure that they are always buckled.