Deadliest Holidays to Drive on in the U.S.
During Holiday seasons you can always expect traffic to pick up and roads to become a bit more congested. We are in the midst of the holiday season with Winter Holidays behind us and Spring Holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and Easter approaching us. It’s a perfect time to brush up on the types of dangerous roadway conditions and safety precautions that are especially important around the holidays.
We are seeing an increasing number of people going back out again, especially now with the rollout of the vaccine. We’re entering the peak period for the deadliest holidays to drive, and we can expect rising numbers on the roads.
4th of July
July 4 is the deadliest holiday to drive in the U.S. with an average of 450 fatal crashes each year. Unfortunately, drinking and driving seem to go hand-in-hand on America’s birthday, and alcohol contributed to a significant number of these accidents.
The Department of Transportation reports that there are a few tragic statistics to keep in mind from July 4, 2018, alone:
- Many deaths: 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those fatalities, 40 percent (78) occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38 percent of the July 4 holiday period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
- Lots of DUIs: Of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes, 71 percent were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher.
- The dangers of nighttime driving: Of those 78 people who died in alcohol-impaired crashes, all but nine occurred during the nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.).
- DUI deaths back to 2014: If you look back to 2014, 812 people were killed during alcohol-impaired crashes during the Independence Day weekend.
- More than the DUI deaths average: With the percentage of drunk driving deaths generally at 30-32 percent per year, a disproportionate number of DUI deaths occur on Independence Day weekends
Memorial Day took second place in the deadliest holidays with an estimated 420 traffic deaths in 2019. Part of the reason Memorial Day is such a dangerous day to drive is that it is also the unofficial start of summer for most Americans. For many teens, it’s become a national day of get-togethers and parties much like Independence Day. Memorial Day sees a spike in drunk driving incidents. Last year, in fact, Memorial Day had more fatal crashes than any other holiday.
You may have heard that the three months stretching from Memorial Day to Labor Day are the deadliest times of the year for car accidents. Road fatalities jump significantly during June, July, and August, with peak numbers of accidents occurring during holiday weekends. For 2020, AAA estimated that over 34 million Americans would travel at least 50 miles over the Labor Day weekend.
Easter brings a lot of bad eggs on the road. The holiday experiences an estimated 280 fatal accidents per year. Easter brings a significant increase in Florida traffic, with many people coming down to celebrate the holiday in Florida spring fashion. Out-of-towners are slower to react to road conditions due to lack of experience driving in the area. If you are hitting the road for Easter, be sure to map the directions out ahead of time and maintain focus on the road.
Celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is perhaps the most American holiday following Independence Day. Thanksgiving driving statistics show that, on average, 304 deadly wrecks happen during each Thanksgiving holiday period—more than Christmas or New Year’s.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN and get the help you need! We will refer you to the attorneys that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve and the medical attention you need. If you have been hurt in an accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN, and we will guide you in finding you the best medical and legal professionals.