Most U.S. States Have More Auto Accidents in
Fall Than In Any Other Season
CENTREVILLE, Va., Sept. 18,
2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Tens of millions of U.S. drivers
are heading this week directly into Danger Season – the time when
auto crashes occur most often where they live, CARFAX data
shows. Although many might assume that Winter is the most
accident-prone season, more than 72% of U.S. drivers – roughly 170
million – live in states where Fall is the peak season for accident
"CARFAX has the most accident and damage
information, and sometimes that data can be surprising."
Why does Fall have so many accidents? Experts call out these
- Diminishing Daylight: Fall means shorter days, and that
means more driving in the dark, when drivers are twice as likely to
have an accident as in daylight. Half of U.S. accidents
happen in the dark, but those hours account for only 25
percent of travel.
- Slick Surfaces: Wet leaves brought down by storms can be
as slippery as ice. Braking on wet leaves can make a car travel
more than twice as far as braking on a dry road.
- Deer Danger: Mating season for deer runs from October
through December, and nearly half of deer crashes nationwide happen
in just those three months. In addition, one study notes that
deer-car collisions spike 16% in the week after the end of Daylight
Saving Time in November because of the jump to an earlier
"CARFAX has the most accident and damage information, and
sometimes that data can be surprising," said Faisal Hasan, General Manager for Data at
CARFAX. "The change of seasons is a good time for drivers to see if
any new recalls have been issued for their car." Consumers can
check on unfixed recalls – for free – at carfax.com/recall.
That doesn't mean Winter isn't dangerous: 23% of drivers
live in states where Winter is worst for accidents. Those states
are California, Florida, New
Jersey, Louisiana and
Vermont, and they have a combined
54 million drivers. A few states stand out because they don't
follow these patterns: For drivers in Nebraska and Oklahoma, Spring is the most dangerous season,
and New Mexico drivers have the most accidents
Drivers can prepare themselves by taking these
- SLOW DOWN: Speed is often a key factor in accidents in
any season, and inclement situations make driving even
more dangerous. Give other drivers –and yourself – space.
That will give you a little extra time to handle sudden
- Keep a constant eye on your car's maintenance:
- Check tire pressure: Sudden temp drops make tires lose
air quickly. Don't wait for a Tire Pressure Monitoring System
alert; check tire pressure monthly.
- Put on winter tires: Cold weather can harden the
rubber in standard tires, hurting traction. If you live in a frigid
area, winter tires with special rubber compounds and tread patterns
may be wise.
- Check your car's battery: Cold weather reduces a
battery's power, and it could fail. If your mechanic finds that
your battery is weak, have a new one installed.
- Check wiper fluid level: Slush from the road can be
kicked up onto your windshield, making it hard to see. Carry an
extra gallon in cold-weather months.
- Check wiper blades: If the rubber has cracked, your
wipers may leave streaks. Wipe them down with Windex. If that
doesn't work, install new blades.
- Use Carfax Car Care to track your car's service
history: Make sure you get alerts for oil changes, brake pad
replacement or tire treadwear. And get it all for free.
- Pack a winter survival kit: Be ready if you wind up
stranded. A kit should have water, a blanket, an ice scraper,
durable food items, road flares, a phone charger, a flashlight and
first-aid supplies. Keep this kit in the car at all times.
Editor's note: Interviews with an expert from CARFAX are
available at any time. Please contact Patrick Olsen at
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people every day confidently shop, buy, service and sell used cars
with innovative solutions powered by CARFAX® vehicle
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