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Which Holiday Weekends are Most Dangerous for Drivers?


Holidays are an integral part of the lives of many Americans. They serve as a breather from the perils of work and are something many people look forward to. During holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, millions of people hit the road to visit family, friends, or go on a trip somewhere nice to unwind. Unfortunately, with this many people on the road, accidents are bound to happen. In this article, we’re going to analyze available accident data to determine which of the holidays are most dangerous for drivers and what we can do to minimize the losses.

National Holidays

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial day is observed on the last Monday in May of every year. Because of the nature of celebrations involving a lot of alcohol consumption, Memorial Day weekend has the most fatal accidents over a 3-day period out of all other holidays, with an average of 312 fatal accidents a year.

According to The National Safety Council (NSC), the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents during Memorial day weekend is over 14% higher than the average during normal weekends.

4th of July Weekend

With 302 fatal accidents per year, 4th of July weekend is another holiday that sees a large number of fatal crashes. Due to many factors including alcohol consumption, and bad decision making, we see a yearly rise in avoidable accidents on our roads. On the other hand, injuries related to fireworks have also been on the rise. With dangerous and sometimes illegal fireworks being available on the market, the chances of getting into accidents and causing injuries is incredibly high.

New Year’s

New Year’s celebration is always a huge event. People across the nation wait patiently for this day to celebrate and have fun while welcoming the new year. With huge parties and many people engaging in binge drinking, coupled with the cold weather, the circumstances are ripe for auto crashes. It is estimated that at least 245 fatal accidents take place on New Year’s every year.

Large Events

Similar to national holidays, there are a number of large events that are held yearly and cause upticks in accidents and fatalities. Here, we use the Kentucky Derby Week and the NFL Super Bowl to exemplify the effect on local communities when it comes to accidents and fatalities.

Kentucky Derby Week

Kentucky Derby Week, one of the most famous horse races in the world, is held on the first Saturday of May in Louisville, KY. A study by injury law firm Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery in Kentucky found that car accidents spike by 29 percent, while injuries increase by at least 28 percent during the Kentucky Derby Weekend.

NFL Super Bowl

The infamous super bowl brings an end to every year’s NFL regular season with the final exhibition match. Millions of people from all over the country and internationally travel to watch the best two NFL teams go head to head for the year’s championship.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an average of 24 people were killed in car accidents immediately after the Super Bowl. On the Sundays before and after the game, only 17 people were killed in accidents. Additionally, the number of car accidents rose by at least 33%.

Drive Carefully and Always Be Vigilant

To sum up, memorial day weekend might be the most dangerous holiday weekend for drivers, but that doesn’t discount the sheer tragedies that take place during other holiday weekends. The takeaway here is to always practice safe driving, never ever drink while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and enjoy a fun and safe holiday.


Ahmed writes on the topics of safety & technology. When not writing you can find him relaxing on the beach or making wonders in the kitchen.

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