Icy winter roads and vacation-clogged summer highways might seem the most dangerous for motorists, but new research says fall is when driving is at its deadliest.
A new report has found that October has the year's highest death rate per distance driven. In fact, the danger of dying in a crash is 16 percent greater in October than in wintry March – the safest month of the year.
"Everything else being equal, inclement weather – snow and ice – should increase the risk of driving," said Michael Sivak at the University of Michigan Transportation Safety Institute in Ann Arbor. "However, because inclement weather also leads to general reductions in speed, the net effect is not clear."
Sivak analyzed monthly crash death figures for the U.S. from 1994 to 2006 and reported his findings in the July issue of the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.
October had a death rate of 10.2 per billion kilometers, compared with March's 8.8 per billion kilometers, he found.