What Are the Most Dangerous Days of the Year to Drive?
Following the rules of the road and practicing safe driving tips can help you avoid collisions and other potentially dangerous situations. While it's important to be careful every time you drive, there are certain days when your chances of having an accident are a bit higher. Here’s a look at some of the most dangerous days of the year to drive.
Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day is a particularly dangerous day for drivers in colder states as it’s often the first weekend of the year when people venture to outdoor barbecues and parties.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), on average, the number of car accident fatalities over the Memorial Day weekend over the past six years has been 12.4% higher than the average number of traffic deaths during comparable time periods. This has earned Memorial Day a spot as one of the 100 deadliest days to drive. Nationwide, approximately 41% of the total traffic fatalities that occurred over Memorial Day weekend in 2020 involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
Fourth of July
As Independence Day approaches, many people across the country are preparing for road trips or planning outdoor parties. The average number of traffic-related deaths fluctuates each year, depending on which day of the week the holiday falls. In 2022, the NSC estimated that approximately 462 people in the U.S. would die in traffic fatalities over the Independence Day holiday weekend. During this period, 41% of the traffic fatalities are also alcohol-related.
St. Patrick’s Day
Data from the Insurance Information Institute (III) shows that summer is the most dangerous time of year for most American drivers and March is one of the safest months… except for St. Patrick’s Day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, between 6 p.m. on March 16th and 5:59 a.m. on March 18th, 36% of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver. In addition, between 2016 and 2020, 287 people died in alcohol-related crashes during the “St. Patrick’s Day period.”
The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally a time to travel and visit family. This often requires driving in heavy traffic, so when you hit the road, you’re going to want to be extra careful. In 2021, AAA predicted that there would be as many as 48.3 million people traveling by car over the Thanksgiving weekend. At the same time, The NSC predicted that it would be the deadliest Thanksgiving holiday since 2007.
Not only are people driving more over this holiday weekend, but they're also drinking more. Statistics show that over this time period, approximately 29% of traffic fatalities also involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
Christmas to New Year's
For many, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time for celebration, but it’s also a time to make sure you’re driving defensively. From the hazards of driving in winter weather to stressed-out shoppers driving aggressively, there are many potential dangers on the road during this time of year.
The NSC predicted that in 2021, approximately 371 people would die on the roads during the Christmas Day holiday period and another 427 people would die in vehicle fatalities during the New Year’s Day holiday period. Sadly, 36% to 38% of traffic fatalities during this time period also involve alcohol-impaired drivers.
Super Bowl Sunday
Many Americans love watching the Super Bowl with family and friends, and everyone wants to see their team win. But, traveling to and from those Super Bowl parties can be dangerous. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), not only does traffic increase over the 12-hour period (Sunday at 6 p.m. to Monday at 6 a.m.), but traffic deaths also rise.
During the five Super Bowl Sundays that occurred between 2015 and 2019, there were a total of 244 deaths, and 46% of them were alcohol-related. In addition, alcohol-related crashes were 74% higher on Super Bowl Sunday when compared to the weekend prior and 82% higher when compared to the following week.
Stay Safe on the Roads
While you can’t avoid driving on every potentially dangerous day, you can make sure you have the skills you need to stay as safe as possible. Taking an online defensive driving course is a great place to start. DriversEd.com offers fun and convenient courses that will help you become a better driver in no time. Check them out today!