What’s the most dangerous day to be on the road?

John Egan

If you want to avoid a car crash, Fridays may be the best days to telecommute.

Nationwide Insurance analyzed auto insurance claims data from 2012 and found that Friday was the most common day of the week for policyholders’ claims. Policyholders had the highest average number of claims per day – 4,664 – on Friday. Wednesday was second, with an average of 4,197 claims, followed by Thursday, Monday and Tuesday.

“Regardless of when or where we drive, we all play a part in making our roads safer for each other,” Bill Windsor, associate vice President of safety at Nationwide Insurance, says in a news release. “Focus on the task at hand – driving – and resist the temptation of your cellphone by turning it off or avoiding reading your text messages and emails.”

According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), being rear-ended and rear-ending another car are two of the most frequent types of crashes. To avoid any kind of crash, NETS suggests:

  • Leaving at least 3 to 4 seconds of distance between your car and the one in front of you. If the roads are wet or slick, you should double your following distance.
  • Scanning ahead. Look down the road ahead of you for a distance of 8 to 10 seconds. In the city, that’s about one block; on the highway, that’s about four city blocks.
  • Keeping your eyes moving. Do a full “sweep” of your mirrors every 5 to 6 seconds.
  • Watching your speed. The faster you’re driving, the less time you have to react to sudden moves by other drivers – and the less time other drivers have to react to you.
  • Avoiding quick acceleration or sudden turns. Controlled, gradual maneuvers give other drivers more time to adjust.
  • Giving your brakes a break. If you’re scanning ahead properly, you should to use only 30 percent of full braking power for non-emergency situations. If you find yourself braking hard, you should increase your following distance.
  • Activating your turn signal for 3 to 4 seconds before changing lanes or making a turn.

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