Driving in Pennsylvania: The Most Dangerous Times to Navigate the State’s Highways

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, file photo, a self-driving Uber car stops at a red light on Liberty Avenue through the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In just a few years, well-mannered self-driving robotaxis will share the roads with reckless, law-breaking human drivers. The prospect is causing migraines for the people developing the robocars and is slowing their development. But experts say eventually the cars will coexist with human drivers on real roads. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

By Ashley Adams

June 20, 2023

A recent study found that the most dangerous day of the week for driving in Pennsylvania is Saturday, the most dangerous month is October, and the most dangerous hour to drive is 3 to 4 p.m.

Driving can be dangerous, even without having to avoid the potholes on Pennsylvania roads. Now we know the most unsafe time to get behind the wheel in the commonwealth.

The most dangerous day of the week for driving in the state is Saturday. The most dangerous month is October and the most dangerous hour is from 3 to 4 p.m., according to a study by Forbes Advisor.

Experts say Saturday is the most dangerous day because there are fewer people on the road allowing cars to go faster, leading to more serious injuries. 

October is the most dangerous month in Pennsylvania because it gets darker earlier, leading to visibility issues, and 3 to 4 p.m. is the most dangerous hour because it is part of rush hour, which sees more fatalities, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.

According to the Forbes study, in the neighboring state of New Jersey, the most dangerous day to drive is Sunday, the most dangerous month was October, and the most dangerous hour was from 8 to 9 p.m. 

As for Pennsylvania’s other neighbors, Saturday was also the most dangerous day of the week for driving in New York, Maryland, and West Virginia. In Delaware, it was Friday. 

As for the most dangerous month, in New York and Delaware it was September, Maryland was August, and West Virginia was July.

The most dangerous hours varied in each neighboring state, for New York it was 5 to 6 p.m., Delaware from 9 to 10 p.m., Maryland from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m., and West Virginia from 3 to 4 p.m.

Using the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Forbes Advisor analyzed crashes across the nation that involved at least one fatality from 2016 to 2020.

Use caution in how you read and interpret the data, though.

The statistics aren’t saying that the overall worst time for fatal accidents in Pennsylvania is 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays in October. Each is a separate category.

In a separate study, PennDOT looked at data from 2018 to 2022 and concluded that 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays was when the highest number of crash fatalities occurred in the state. Nearly half were connected to impaired driving.

Nationally, the most dangerous time to drive on average is evening rush hour between 6 and 7 p.m. with 8,563 road deaths recorded in that time over a five-year period. The second-most dangerous hour is from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., during which time 8,387 fatalities occurred during those years.

Road deaths were the highest on Saturdays with a total of 25,907 as compared to 23,147 on Fridays and 23,038 on Sundays.

October was the month that recorded the highest number of road accident fatalities with 13, 566.

Author

  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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