Drunk driving is a significant factor when it comes to car collisions in the United States. Between 2015 and 2019, over 25 percent of fatal crashes in the United States involved at least one driver who was under the influence of alcohol. To analyze this deeper, Callahan & Blaine, an Orange County, CA personal injury law firm, conducted an analysis of drunk driving fatal crashes, and discovered the deadliest days of the year for drunk driving.
The Most Dangerous Days For Drunk Driving
When analyzing fatal crash data from 2015-2019, unsurprisingly, fatal alcohol-related crashes are more likely to occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Looking further, it was also realized that the top 3 deadliest days for drunk driving are holidays or the day following a holiday.
1. New Year’s Day
By far, the deadliest day for alcohol-related crashes is New Year’s Day. During the studied time period, 43 percent of all fatal crashes on this day involved a drunk driver. As the New Year’s Eve celebrations roll over into the early morning hours of January 1st, car collisions and fatalities become more common. There were twice as many collisions on New Year’s Day from midnight to 4 a.m. compared to 8 p.m. to midnight on New Year’s Eve.
2. The Fourth of July
The second most dangerous day for drunk driving is the Fourth of July. On this day, 36 percent of all fatal collisions involved at least one alcohol-impaired driver. On the Fourth of July, 10 p.m. is the deadliest hour for fatal crashes.
3. The Day After St. Patrick’s Day
March 18th, the day after St. Patrick’s Day is the third most deadliest day for alcohol-related collisions. On this day, 35 percent of fatal crashes included a drunk driver, 32 percent on the actual holiday, March 17th. As a heavy drinking holiday, it makes sense that alcohol-related fatal crashes spike in the early morning hours following St. Patrick’s Day.
Other Notable Holidays
Other holidays that see significant fatalities when it comes to drunk driving include Cinco de Mayo and Christmas Day. Cinco de Mayo, celebrated on May 5th, and the day after are among the most dangerous days for drunk driving fatalities. On both of these days, a little over 32 percent of accidents involved a drunk driver.
Although Christmas Day is not necessarily thought of as a heavy drinking holiday and it has a low number of alcohol-related crashes, these drunk driving crashes make up a high percentage of fatal collisions at 31 percent.
Staying Safe on the Road
Drunk driving is completely avoidable. From 2015-2019, 43,494 crashes and 48,348 deaths could have been prevented. There are some simple steps you can take to help avoid alcohol-related crashes including:
- Planning ahead and making safe transportation or sleeping arrangements.
- Having a designated driver or using rideshare apps such as Uber or Lyft.
- Helping others find safe transportation accommodations and avoid driving under the influence.
- Looking for signs of drunk driving while on the road (such as swerving, sudden deceleration, and driving significantly slower than the speed limit) and reporting it to the authorities.
Avoid drunk driving and keep yourself and others safe.