Crashes by Month

In 2017, February was the month with the fewest motor-vehicle deaths; the most deaths were in July.

Looking at death rate per 100 million vehicle miles, the lowest rate occurred in March and the highest was in September. The mileage death rate helps correct for the variation in monthly mileage and is a more accurate measure of risk when comparing trends.

Monthly trends by year can also be explored by adjusting the filter at the top of the interactive chart. Over the last several years, January and February generally experienced the fewest motor-vehicle fatalities, while July, August, or October experienced the most.

Much of the variation in monthly motor-vehicle fatalities is associated with the number of vehicle miles. During the winter months, both vehicle miles and deaths go down, while in the summer months, vehicle miles and deaths increase.

Because of this association, the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles does not fluctuate to the same degree during the course of the year. However, mileage variation does not fully explain the peak in deaths and death rates that often occur in October. Shorter daylight hours may play a role.

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Source: National Safety Council analysis of NHTSA FARS data