8 of The Deadliest Holidays for Driving

close up of hand on steering wheel

Labor Day is nearly here and millions of Americans are gearing up to celebrate the final days of summer with road trips, extended vacations, and some good ol’ fashioned holiday weekend fun.

Naturally, holidays like Labor Day bring with them real risks – including those that directly impact safety on our roads. You may already know that roads and highways will be a bit more hectic come later this month, but do you know just how dangerous Labor Day is when it comes to driving, or where it stacks up when compared to other holidays throughout the year?

Top 8 Deadliest Holidays for Driving

Here are some of the deadliest holidays to drive in the U.S. according to a study from AutoInsurance.org based by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data for a four-day holiday period in 2021, 2020, and 2019.

  1. Memorial Day
  2. Labor Day
  3. Fourth of July
  4. Father’s Day
  5. Cinco de Mayo
  6. Columbus Day
  7. Mother’s Day
  8. Halloween

Key Takeaways About Holiday Driving Dangers

Here are some key takeaways about the study’s findings:

  • Memorial Day. Memorial Day claims the top spot as the deadliest holiday to drive, recording an average of 448 fatal crashes over the past three years. The statistics about Memorial Day driving are sobering:
    • Car crashes are 4x more likely on Memorial Day weekend.
    • 37% of fatal crashes involve an intoxicated motorist.
    • Motorists run 12 red lights every second during the holiday weekend.
  • Labor Day. With an average of 445 fatal crashes, Labor Day is not far behind Memorial Day as the second-deadliest holiday to drive. Labor Day sees 20% more fatal crashes than the average holiday, with 38% of all fatal crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. These may not seem like risky holidays, but Father’s Day and Mother’s Day rank high on the list due to significant increases in traffic and drunk driving.
  • Fourth of July. Independence Day is consistently among the deadliest holidays of the year, averaging 440 fatal crashes over the past 3 years – 68 more than the average four-day period.
  • Safest Holidays to Drive. Christmas is the safest holiday to drive, with just 325 fatal crashes over the four-day holiday period. It’s followed by Ash Wednesday, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

How to Stay Safe When Driving During Holidays

Experts say increased traffic and drunk driving are the primary culprits for fatal holiday crashes. Other factors include more teen or inexperienced drivers (especially during spring and summer holidays), out-of-town motorists, speeding, poor weather, and detours or road closures caused by holiday events.

To keep yourself and others safe around you when driving during the holidays, it’s important to address these risks and practice safe driving behaviors that save lives. Some helpful tips include:

  1. Drive sober or plan a sober ride.
  2. Avoid distractions and obey the speed limit.
  3. Prepare for longer trips and have your vehicle inspected.
  4. Talk with teens or new drivers about safe driving and household ground rules.
  5. Plan ahead, familiarize yourself with directions, and give yourself plenty of time.

Read our blog on safe holiday driving to learn more!

What to Do After a Holiday Accident

Being injured in an accident can be a harrowing experience, especially if you’re away from home. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to protect your well-being and your legal rights should you find yourself involved in a holiday crash.

  1. Seek immediate medical care.
  2. Follow up with your doctors and follow their recommendations.
  3. Keep up with treatment and therapies, even if you think you can tough it out.
  4. Know your rights: you do not have to talk to the other party’s insurance company if they call and you are certainly under no obligation to accept a settlement offer, especially if it’s too low.
  5. Contact a qualified attorney with experience handling auto accident cases. They can review your case and discuss your options to pursue a personal injury claim.

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.: Fighting for Accident Victims Since 1983

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., shares this information to alert folks about significant dangers and promote public safety. Unfortunately, our car accident attorneys know that even with precautions and an abundance of vigilance, motorists can still fall victim to negligent drivers.

Backed by a team of award-winning attorneys, we fight for victims and families in a range of motor vehicle accident cases, including those involving serious injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about a recent crash and whether you have the right to pursue a case, give us a call at (212) 577-9325 for a FREE and confidential consultation.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.