Last week's 40-vehicle pile up on Maryland's I-70 killed two people and seriously injured 12 more. But statistically, driving on a snowy Monday afternoon in January is not even close to the most dangerous time to drive.

The most dangerous month, it turns out, is August, and Saturday the most dangerous day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

All told, auto accidents kill more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year; they are the No. 1 cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 34.

In Depth: Most Dangerous Times To Drive

The difference between August and January 2008 road fatalities were 3,612 versus 2,818. Why the 800-person difference? There are several reasons, it turns out, some having to do with time of day, simple distractions or even outright unsafe behavior.

The simple fact is, getting behind the wheel of a car is the riskiest thing most people do every day, says Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

But since fatal crashes happen in "ones and twos" scattered across the country, the general public doesn't realize their collective toll--about 110 people per day, nationwide.

Read More Stories at AOL Autos:

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