Fall is a particularly fatal time on the nation’s roadways bringing with it 8,290 fatal collisions between September and November, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Teletrac Navman recently created a seasonal driver safety series, which utilizes NHTSA fatal collision data to highlight the most dangerous times, cities, and states to be on the road during fall.
The report notes that most fatal accidents are recorded in October, with Friday being the most dangerous day to be on the road and the evening rush hour time of 6 p.m. to 6:59 p.m. the most dangerous hour.
According to the analysis, Mississippi is the most dangerous state to drive in during fall where the fatality rate is 4.52 accidents per 100,000 residents. This is 1.7x higher than the national average of 2.65 and 4.3x higher than Massachusetts, the state with the lowest fatal accident rate.
Other states that ranked in the top five most dangerous to drive in fall include Alabama which came in second with a fatal accident rate of 4.42, followed by South Carolina (4.36), New Mexico (4.18), and Tennessee (3.84).
The analysis also identified the most dangerous cities for driving in the autumn. Jackson, Miss., took the top spot with an alarming 9.62 fatal accident rate per 1000,000 residents, followed by Glendale, Ariz., with a 7.99 fatal collision rate, Tucson, Ariz. (7.20), Kansas City, Mo. (5.35), and Memphis, Tenn. (4.91).
Teletrac Navman’s report notes the many hazards drivers should be aware of in fall. These include ample rain, fog, and frost; fallen leaves that can be as slick as ice when it rains; and, less daylight, as it gets darker earlier. Moreover, fall brings with it an increase in animals crossing the road. In fact, drivers are 3.5 times more likely to hit an animal while driving in November, especially a deer.