What season is most dangerous to drive, winter or summer? If you said winter, you join about 83% of surveyed Americans. But the reality is that the three months of summer have the highest auto accident rates, accounting for about one in three fatalities. And as we’ve discussed before, Saturdays in August are some of the most dangerous days to drive.
When it comes to summer driving safety, there are definitely some spots that are hotter than others. The Daily Beast crunched the numbers on data 5 years of data from the National Highway Safety Administration to come up with a list of 100 U.S. interstates most likely to generate a fatal crash.
For another take on unsafe roads, you might turn to SafeRoadMaps, which offers a variety of interactive maps to tracks fatality data . See their report on states with the most rural summer hotspots (PDF).
Jon Burner of Forbes recently wrote an interesting article about America’s fastest roads – highways where speeds often exceed 90 mph. While many of these roads tend to be long, straight highways in desolate areas, but the article cites some notorious urban areas too:
“The fastest road near an urban area is California Route 73, a six-lane freeway in Orange County that connects Santa Ana and San Juan Capistrano through the San Joaquin Hills. While the speed limit on that stretch is 65 miles per hour, the fastest 5% of drivers average speeds around 82 miles per hour over 17 miles of roadway.
Inrix’s statistics also show that New Yorkers really do drive fast. The Westchester County suburbs of New York City are home to the fastest road in the eastern U.S. — and one of only two East Coast roads that made the list. Drivers on the winding, heavily traveled Saw Mill River Parkway frequently reach speeds of 78 to 85 miles per hour between the towns of Elmsford and Hawthorne, despite the 50-mile-per-hour speed limit.
Connecticut has the fastest stretch of Interstate highway in the country, according to Inrix. Over a one-mile distance on Interstate 84 northeast of Hartford, the fastest 5 percent of drivers routinely flaunt the 65-mile-per-hour speed limit by driving 85 miles per hour.”
For more on deadly roads, see our prior post about the deadliest US roads – which includes a bonus breath-taking video on Bolivia’s death road, called the most dangerous road on earth.
Whether it’s via new media like social networks or “old school” technology like your home phone, don’t let your guard down. The FBI recently has issued warning about two scams that are surfacing.
Denial of service phone attacks
The FBI has issued a warning about a new phone scam which uses telephone denial-of-services (d.o.s.) attacks to overwhelm victims’ cell phones and land lines with thousands of calls. This diversionary tactic ties up service to give criminals time to empty out the victim’s bank or brokerage accounts. Prior to the phone attack, the criminal would have obtained the victim’s bank account numbers and password, either via malware that the victim has inadvertently downloaded or via information the victim gave out on the phone or in response to e-mail phishing. The subsequent DOS attack serves both as a distraction, and also prevents a victim from calling to make account changes to protect their accounts.
Social networking scam: your friend is stranded
Scammers send notices to your Facebook or Twitter contact list posing as you and telling your contacts that you are stranded after a robbery (or some similar calamity) and that you need help quickly. Of course, the requested help is urgent and would be in the form of cash. To avoid being taken in by such a scam, be alert and aware and simply verify any pleas for help before acting on them. And if you think your account has been hacked and that false messages are being sent to your contacts, post a note on your page alerting your friends and family that your account may be compromised and to ignore any such messages.
To protect yourself from these and other scams, the FBI suggests:
- Implement security measures for all financial accounts by placing fraud alerts with the major credit bureaus if you believe they were targeted by a TDoS attack or other forms of fraud
- Use strong passwords for all financial accounts and change them regularly
- Obtain and review your annual credit report for fraudulent activity
- If you are a target of a TDoS attack, immediately contact your financial institutions, notify your telephone provider, and promptly report it to the IC3 website at: www.IC3.gov
Firework safety – Every year, there are thousands of injuries and an estimated 30,000 fires caused by fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2008 there were 7,000 injuries and 7 deaths, with 70% of the injuries occurring between June 20 and July 20. Even devices that many might consider safe can pose risks. For example, the tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of about 2,000°F – hot enough to cause third degree burns. The US Fire Administration offers advice on firework safety. And remember – many states ban all or some fireworks: Use this clickable map to check state firework laws.
Traveling safety – if you will be spending the holiday away from home, you may want to be careful with what you share on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Unless your networks are private and you are careful about not linking to personal information, announcing your plans to be away might inadvertently tip off a would-be burglar that your home will be vacant. See our prior post: Please rob me: when social networking turns risky. Of course, not all crooks use technology to target empty homes, some just use old-school powers of observation. Before you go away, it’s good to take precautions to protect your home when traveling. And here are some tips for preventing identity theft while you travel.
Driving Safety – The Fourth of July weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tracking car crash statistics for 25 years, and the Fourth of July often tops the lost for fatal car accidents. And of the July 4 fatalities, usually more than half are related to alcohol. Most states will have intensive DUI checkpoints set up over the holiday weekend. And all you sober drivers need to be on particular alert, driving defensively on a busy traffic weekend. Check out our holiday road trip tips
More safety tips for the holiday weekend
Summer food poisoning is no picnic
Keeping kids safe: holiday & summer safety resources
Swimming pool and spa safety and insurance coverage
Bike safety for kids