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Why you should be especially careful behind the wheel this week

Law enforcement and media outlets typically warn us to be particularly careful when driving on certain days of the year. They advise us that drunk driving rates tend to surge around New Year’s or Saint Patrick’s Day. They caution us about rising accident rates over three-day weekends.

However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released the results of a five-year long study, comparing motor vehicle crash statistics in the U.S. by day. It identified the five most dangerous days of the year to be on the road. The result may surprise you.

Three of the most dangerous driving days fall in the summer months. Researchers found that when students are out of school and people tend to be in vacation mode, the quality of driving suffers. Instances of distracted driving are higher overall in the summer. By comparison, when drivers are trying to navigate torrential rainstorms or other extreme weather events, they stay much more focused behind the wheel.

In the summer, the three days that see the highest number of crashes are May 3, July 4 and August 2.

The other two most dangerous driving days of the year fall over the next 10 days: on October 25 and November 1. The study does not propose a reason for this trend.

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and fatalities on the road. The advent of smartphones in recent years has made the temptation for driver distraction even higher. Every time you get behind the wheel, it’s important to make the task of driving your number one priority. It could be a life-saving decision.

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