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August Is the Cruelest Month

Scott Vogel

If your vacation happens to begin tomorrow and you're planning a car trip -- well, I'm not suggesting that you cancel it, but do be careful. August 6, it seems, is one of the deadliest days of the year when it comes to car accidents, according to a set of statistics just released by AAA Mid-Atlantic.

For comparison's sake, consider the following. On an average day, 116 Americans are killed on the nation's roads. On August 6, however, an average of 137 are killed. This is in part because we are in the first week of August, a time when summer vacations hit their peak and more motorists hit the roads.

"The month of August represents a deadly pattern as one study after another by the government has proven," said AAA's John Townsend in a statement. During the period from 1995 to 2005, for instance, an astonishing 43,833 people lost their lives in August, while 1,504 of them were killed on August 6th alone. (According to AAA, four of the ten deadliest days of the year are during the first two weeks of August.)

I realize this is getting a little gruesome, and it's worth noting that there may be a silver lining to our present gas woes. After all, as Americans have decreased the amount of driving that they do, there's been a corresponding decrease in traffic deaths.

Still, do be mindful of the risks out there during the next few weeks and drive safely.

By Scott Vogel |  August 5, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Scott Vogel
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But is a difference of 21 people/day a statistically significant difference? Given the number of people who drive everyday, it might just be a blip, and not a real difference.

Posted by: Thinking back to basic stats... | August 5, 2008 9:10 AM

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Posted by: test | August 6, 2008 3:13 PM

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Posted by: change | August 13, 2008 4:53 AM

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