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Holiday hermit vs. deadly hundreds

By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Posted: 7 am ET

The 100 deadliest driving days on America's highways each year. (Courtesy NHTSA)

Where am I headed this Labor Day weekend? My own backyard, that's where. If I'm feeling lucky, I might walk the dogs around the block. Might. You want to borrow my car for the weekend? Here are the keys. I'm giving my auto insurance agent a breather.

The reason for my reluctant hermit-tude? According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, statistics, we're about to wrap up what car insurance companies refer to as the "100 deadliest days" on America's roads each year.

If you chart the annual vehicular fatalities for 1975 through 2002, each forms a dromedary pattern: they ramp up steeply around Memorial Day, spike like a Roman candle on the Fourth of July, and continue their killing spree through Labor Day. This is your best chance of becoming "Teen Angel" save for an uptick in December that I like to call the Christmas "slay ride."

I intended to join the Labor Day migration this year. Really. But after reading an item in the Daily Beast entitled "America's 100 Deadliest Highways," I decided my auto insurance doesn't need the stress.

You see, here in Clearwater, Fla., where I live, there are basically three routes to fun: I-95, which runs the length of the East Coast; I-4, which runs west to east from Tampa to Daytona via Mickey’s place; and I-75, which connects two of my favorite polar opposites, Georgia and South Beach.

Out of all the risky U.S. roadways coast to coast from Kauai to Montauk, my three leisure escape routes all rank in the deadliest Top 20: I-95 took the gold at No. 1, I-4 the bronze at No. 3 and I-75 a still-reasonably-lethal No. 15.

You'd have to be a zombie to test your Labor Day luck on these death strips.

Auto insurance companies like AAA, Allstate, Nationwide and State Farm discount their rates for safe driving, low mileage, driver education courses and all sorts of other risk-avoidance behaviors. You can compare auto insurance quotes at InsureMe.com, a Bankrate company.

So how about an auto insurance discount for ultra-safe drivers who stay off the roads and tend the barbie on major holidays?

Who's with me?

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