Traffic accidents typically spike over the holidays and the July 4 holiday often tops the table for the most deaths on the roads of America.
A report on 24/7 Wall Street in 2013, noted National Safety Council (NSC) statistics that estimated the number of traffic accidents and deaths that occur on major U.S. holidays.
The survey looked at Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Christmas and New Year, Labor Day, and Independence Day.
It noted the deadliest holiday is usually the Fourth of July, which often sees the deaths of as many as 540 motorists over a four-day period.
National Safety Council manager of statistics Ken Kolosh said there is a clear link between the death toll over the holidays and alcohol consumption. The holidays also see more vehicles on the roads.
He said the New Year’s holiday usually sees a significant rise in the number of deaths when looking at a comparable period in the same month. However, the Christmas holiday does not typically see a spike in deaths.
New Year’s Day and Independence Day are particularly deadly because more people are likely to drink and drive. For instance, over the New Year’s period from 2007 to 2011, an estimated 42 percent of traffic deaths were caused by drinking and driving. Over Christmas, the figure was 35 percent.
However, a more recent study on CBS suggested July 4 is the third most dangerous holiday after Memorial Day.
The report made stark reading. Drivers are four times more likely to die over the Memorial Day weekend. The figure was only slightly lower for the July 4 holiday.
The report cited ValuePenguin, a personal finance website that used figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to compare traffic fatalities over the major holidays.
The study said Memorial Day led the death toll with an average of 312 fatal accidents per year from 2011 to 2015. Labor Day averaged 308 fatalities and the Fourth of July, 307.
The ValuePenguin study suggests the holidays in the summer are more dangerous than those in the fall and winter.
If you are planning a road trip this July 4 please take plenty of time to get to your destination. Avoid alcohol and watch out for drunk drivers. You should also take plenty of breaks to avoid fatigued driving.
Have a great July 4 and take care on the roads. If you were injured due to the fault of another driver, call the Law Offices of Michael West at (404) 913-1529 or view our attorney profile here.