MINNEAPOLIS, June 30 (UPI) — The vast majority of U.S. adults say winter is the most dangerous time for driving but the Fourth of July weekend is the deadliest time, a survey indicates.
The survey by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Excellence in Rural Safety found 83 percent of Americans consider winter to be the most dangerous season to be driving on rural roadways, while 8 percent say summer, 4 percent say spring and 4 percent say fall.
“Americans’ sense of seasonal driving risk is skewed,” research director Tom Horan says in a statement. “We are wary of winter driving, but let our guard down during summer holidays, when fatalities are most likely to occur.”
Rural roads are particularly perilous — 57 percent of highway deaths occur on rural roads — because the lighter traffic and pleasant scenery can lull drivers into a false sense of security, Horan says.
To help drivers plan safer trips, the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety created SafeRoadMaps, a Google Maps-based system that allows visitors to saferoadmaps.org to enter a Zip code, municipality name or street address and see a map or satellite image all of the road fatalities that have occurred in the chosen area over the past eight years.
The survey of 1,205 registered voters has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
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