Why Do Fatal Crashes Spike Over Holidays in the Summer?

Although we associate fatal crashes with drunk driving on holidays like New Year’s Eve, the most deadly holidays on the roads of America occur in the summer months.  There are a number of reasons why fatal crashes spike over holidays in the summer.

Recently, a study by ValuePenguin revealed drivers and passengers are a staggering four times more likely to die in a traffic accident over the Memorial Day weekend than over a regular weekend, reported CBS News.

The personal finance website looked at traffic deaths over all the major U.S. holidays using statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Memorial Day was the most deadly holiday. The Memorial Day weekend saw an average of 312 fatal accidents per year from 2011 to 2015. The other big summer holidays were the second and third most dangerous times on the roads. Labor Day averaged 308 fatalities and the Fourth of July averaged 307 road deaths.

fatal crashes spike over holidays in the summer

Fatal crashes spike over holidays

It’s not obvious why fatal crashes spike over holidays in the summer. However, it appears more traffic takes to the roads at these times.

Over the July 4 weekend, more families travel at night to and from fireworks displays. Increasing numbers of travelers on the road add to the risks.

The economic upturn has also seen more vehicles on the road during holidays in the summer, leading to more crashes.

While the New Year’s weekend is associated with drunk driving, this was the second-least dangerous holiday of the year, with an average of 245 fatal accidents every year between 2011 and 2015. CBS speculated that years of public service announcements convinced party-goers not to drink and drive. Christmas had the lowest level of road deaths in the survey at 231.

Research by the National Coalition for Safer Roads suggested driver impatience was contributing to fatal accidents on Memorial Day. More drivers were running red lights and getting hurt in accidents.

Before you head out at these times, please be aware that fatal crashes spike over holidays in the summer. Leave early for long trips and plan your route. Don’t be impatient or distracted.

At the Law Office of Michael West, we represent people hurt in red light running and other types of accident in Georgia. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car wreck, please call us today at (404) 913-1529.