Any time we get in our cars, we run the risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident. Thankfully, most trips are uneventful and safe. Still, it is crucial to take precautions whenever we drive to avoid dangerous situations and drivers – and avoid becoming one ourselves.

One precaution is knowing when and where accidents are most likely to happen. This information can keep drivers safer by helping them recognize where they should avoid driving and when they should be especially focused.

When do accidents occur most?

The following statistics come from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In 2019:

    • Accident rates were highest during winter months, with October reporting the highest number of crashes.
    • June was the deadliest month, with 111 fatalities, which is the highest all year.
    • Most fatal and non-fatal crashes happen on Fridays.
    • The drive home from work can be the most dangerous, with most accidents occurring between 5 and 6 p.m.
    • Most fatal accidents occur between 11 p.m. and midnight.

This information suggests that driving home from work on a Friday during the winter can be the time when drivers at the highest risk of getting into a crash. However, driving home late at night on the weekend during the summer could put drivers at the highest risk of a fatal accident.

Where do accidents occur most?

According to these same statistics, crashes are most likely to happen:

    • On state highways
    • Outside of intersections
    • In neighborhoods and parking lots (areas with trees, shrubs and parked cars)

This information suggests that people should be especially mindful of safe driving practices on state highways and in areas around our homes. In both scenarios, it can be easy to get too comfortable, whereas drivers may naturally be more focused in areas like intersections and congested interstates.

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions we take, there remains the potential for car accidents. However, drivers who know where most accidents happen can protect themselves by adjusting their driving habits or schedule to avoid high-risk times and areas.