When Do Most Vehicle Accidents Occur?

When Do Most Vehicle Accidents Occur?

When Do Accidents Occur?


Most Canadians are all-too-familiar with the hazards of winter driving; slippery roads and reduced visibility can make driving in the winter months challenging. And statistics show that winter driving can be dangerous: many accidents happen during the fall and winter. But more than 350 motor vehicle accidents happen each day in Canada, and you may be surprised to learn that, according to 2019 statistics compiled by the Government of Ontario, the four months with the highest number of collisions in our province are June, July, August, and October. Learning more about when and under what circumstances motor vehicle accidents happen can help you avoid a collision.


Dangerous Circumstances


Winter Driving. As we know, winter driving conditions can make highways treacherous. Black ice, drifting snow, fog, and poor visibility are only some of the challenges we face when travelling during the winter months. Extreme cold adds to the danger, since if you do have an accident, you are in danger from exposure to below-zero temperatures. As winter approaches, remember to outfit your vehicle properly, with winter tires, anti-freeze, and a tune-up. Plug in your vehicle when the temperature dips. Place a well-equipped winter survival kit in your trunk that includes warm clothing and boots, a shovel, sand, a candle, a flashlight, jumper cables, tow rope, and other items as recommended on this Government of Canada website. Of course, you should always carry a fully-stocked first aid kit and carry a charged cellphone with you. Remember to reduce your speed in winter, and to follow safe winter driving guidelines.

Summer Vacations. Despite the dangers of winter driving, approximately 20% of all collisions in Canada occur during the summer months, and the chances of dying in a motor vehicle accident are much higher. There is increased volume on our roads in these months as people travel to and from their cottages and other vacation destinations. Long weekends are particularly deadly, as alcohol has often been part of the festivities, which can lead to drunk drivers on the road. In addition, sunshine can make driving as difficult as snow; research shows that a large percentage of accidents occur on bright, sunny days. Remember to allow extra time for travelling on holiday weekends when traffic is thick, and don’t forget to invest in some good sunglasses for sunny-day driving. Never drink and drive—and don’t drive if you are tired or hungover, either.

Rush Hours. A large percentage of motor vehicle accidents happen during rush hours. In the mornings, drivers are anxious to get to their jobs on time, and in the evening, they are often fatigued. A rise in distracted driving due to cellphone use also contributes to the number of rush hour accidents, and road rage has also been shown to play a role, since it can lead to aggressive or dangerous driving. There are some simple ways to make rush hour driving less stressful, including:

  • Leave early. Allow plenty of time for your commute. If it means going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, do it. You will reduce stress significantly if you know that traffic bottlenecks will not cause you to be late for work.
  • Take a different route. If you can find a less busy route to work, consider taking it. Sometimes a less direct route can actually be faster, if it there is less traffic on it.
  • Make it a pleasanter experience. Carpool so that you have company. Listen to a book on tape or your favourite music. Add something to your routine that makes the journey more fun.
  • Get off the road. If you find yourself getting stressed and angry, pull off the road for a few minutes, take deep breaths, and try to calm yourself. Remember that everyone is in the same situation and that anger will only exacerbate the problem.
  • Change your hours. COVID-19 lockdowns showed us that work can happen outside the office. Talk to your employer about working from home some of the time so that you don’t have to commute every day, or about coming in and going home later or earlier so that you miss the rush hour traffic.

Spring Forward. Another danger is the “spring forward” day in March when Ontario moves the clocks ahead one hour due to daylight savings time (DST). An American study from 2020 found that there was a 6% increase in motor vehicle accidents during the week following the spring “spring forward” transition, possibly due to sleep deprivation.


Personal Injury Lawyers


If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, consult with a lawyer from a personal injury law firm. These lawyers understand the insurance process and can help you to get the compensation you deserve. An initial consultation with an Ontario personal injury lawyer is usually free, and you can ask questions about your case and find out more about your options.