Let’s talk about odds for a minute. If you drive a vehicle, the odds are that you’ll get into some kind of collision every 17.9 years. That’s at least four accidents over an average lifetime.
Of course, many factors can change your likelihood of a crash:
- Driving while distracted
- Speeding and other risky driving habits
- Driving nights and weekends
And the big one:
It goes without saying that if you drive drunk or drugged, your likelihood of a crash will skyrocket. But even if you don’t drink and drive, the presence of other drunk drivers on the road is a danger to you. And there’s not much you can do about them.
Except avoid them. The best way to beat the odds of a DUI crash is to be safe at home when the impaired drivers are out on the road, and fortunately, that’s not too difficult. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA), most fatal crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers – 55 percent – happen between midnight and 3 a.m.
The second most dangerous time is 9pm to midnight, a time at which 36 percent of DUI crashes occur. Fewest – only 5 percent – happen 9 a.m. to noon. The reason for this discrepancy is obvious. In the morning hours the only ones under the influence are hard-core alcoholics and those who are still drunk from the night before. Most social drinkers are out in the evenings, and the wee hours are when those partying the hardest are on the way home.
As for the time of week, there too the evidence is clear: 15 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes during the week were alcohol-impaired, compared to 30 percent on weekends.
So if you are the type to worry about harm that might come to you on the roads, make an effort to be home safe by midnight, especially on weekends. Next to staying sober at the wheel, it’s the best way to beat the odds.