When more motorists are on the road than usual, things tend to get crowded and more dangerous. Add alcohol to the mix and you wind up with a recipe for disaster. During the days surrounding popular national holidays, driving can be even more difficult and deadly.
A report put out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) looked at statistics detailing the number of fatal traffic accidents that occur during the days on and around major holidays.
Data Reveals the Most Dangerous Days on the Road
Obvious trends become visible when plotting this data onto a chart as significant rises in accidents appear during certain times of the year.
Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas appear to be the most dangerous holidays during which to drive. The largest number of fatal accidents overall occurs during the summer months.
The seven most dangerous days on the road are:
- Memorial Day: Around 400 fatal accidents occur each year during Memorial Day weekend. Alcohol is estimated to be a factor is nearly half of these collisions.
- January First: Surprisingly, New Year’s Day is even more dangerous than New Year’s Eve. More DUI-related crashes occur on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year.
- July 4th. : From 2000 to 2013, the Fourth of July was the deadliest day of the year for drivers. It’s also a popular drinking holiday. An estimated 50% of these accidents involve at least one drunk driver.
- Friday the 13th: Are you superstitious? No matter how you answer that question, the fact remains that Friday the 13th sees an increase in car accidents to the tune of over 10%. This happens regardless of the time of year. Spooky, isn’t it?
- Thanksgiving: The time to give thanks is, unfortunately, also a time to get drunk. Some people make the poor decision of driving after the day’s festivities. It also happens to be the busiest travel day of the year. An estimated 46 million people travel during Thanksgiving weekend. The majority of those travel over fifty miles to their destination.
- The Six Days Surrounding Christmas: These days tend to be rather dangerous as well. 26% more accidents happen during this time than on New Year’s Eve. As is so often the case, much of this tragedy arises as a result of an increased number of impaired drivers hitting the roads.
- St. Patrick’s Day: Between 2009 and 2013, 276 traffic fatalities occurred on this holiday. 40% of those collisions were DUI-related.
Exercise Caution During the Most Dangerous Days on the Road
Remain vigilant the next time you drive during the holidays, try to avoid long stints on the road during peak traffic times if possible, and of course, never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident during the most dangerous days on the road or at any other time during the year, contact our law office today for a free consultation regarding your case.