There is a widely held belief that weekends are the most dangerous time to be out on the road. It’s a very logical conclusion, and federal car crash statistics generally back it up. Saturday sees the highest number of traffic fatalities, for example.
But a crash does not have to be deadly in order to seriously impact a person’s life.
Weekends see the most fatalities
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics show, of the 3,303 fatal crashes that occurred in 2018, nearly one-third came on a Saturday (552 fatal crashes) or Sunday (535). No other day reached 500, though Friday was close at 498.
In that way, yes, driving over the weekend can be more dangerous than being behind the wheel Monday through Thursday. However, it is possible to be in a wreck that leaves you with troubling injuries and expensive bills, and potentially unable to work.
More non-fatal crashes happen during the week
TxDOT also included figures for non-fatal crashes in 2018. When looking at these incidents, you see Saturday and Sunday recorded the fewest non-fatal crashes of any day of the week. Which days had the most? That would be:
- Friday – 92,166 non-fatal crashes
- Thursday – 80,809
- Wednesday – 80,706
So while more deadly crashes occur over the weekend, the latter half of the workweek sees the highest number of non-fatal wrecks.
Traffic volume and alcohol
There are two clear factors at play here. First, traffic volume. People tend to work Monday through Friday. More vehicles on the road likely increases the overall volume of crashes. Even if these incidents are less likely to result in someone losing their life, they can still cause injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
The second factor is alcohol. Of all traffic deaths across the nation in 2016, 28% involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of 0.08. These were more likely to occur on weekend nights – when people tend to go out.
So yes, when it comes to fatalities, weekend driving seems to be more dangerous. However, the sheer number of cars on the road during weekdays, particularly during the afternoon rush hour, can also result in a potentially serious crash.