The Fourth of July Holiday is the worst time of the year for fatal car accidents, according to a study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The spike in road deaths on not only July 4th, but also on the 3rd and 5th, as well, likely comes from both drunk drivers and from motorcyclists, who are far less protected in a crash than people in cars.
Fatal Car Accidents Spike During July 4th Holiday
The 2016 study done by the IIHS looked at data collected by the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System, an annual report on fatal car accidents in the U.S. The IIHS study then focused on when fatal car crashes happened from the five most recent years the data was made available – 2010 through 2014 – and averaged the numbers of deaths on any given day over that span.
The results of the study show that July 4th is the worst day for fatal car accidents in the country. Between 2010 and 2014, a total of 592 people died on the roads of the U.S. on July 4th. At an average of 118.4 deaths per year, this was 28 more fatalities than on a normal day. The only other day of the year that comes close to matching Independence Day’s death toll is New Year’s Day, which saw 591 fatalities over that time period. However, unlike January 1st, the days before and after July 4th are also dangerous, as well. The study found that, on July 5th, a total of 539 people were killed in car accidents, making July 5th the sixth most dangerous day to drive. July 3rd was only just outside of the ten worst days, with 533 road fatalities.
Based on the results of the study, on average, 332.8 people die over this three day period in car accidents, every year.
Alcohol and Motorcycles Contribute to the Increase
The IIHS study found that two of the leading factors behind the increase in the number of fatal accidents were alcohol and motorcycles.
According to the study, July 4th was second, behind only January 1st, for road fatalities in crashes involving at least one person with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. On Independence Day, 47% of the road fatalities came from crashes where someone was drunk, well over the daily average of 35%.
However, unlike on New Year’s, motorcycles increase the number of road deaths on July 4th, as well. More bikers are killed on July 4th than any other day of the year, with an average of 25.8 motorcyclists dying on Independence Day every year. This is more than double the daily average of 12.1. The increase comes from the fact that Independence Day happens in the summer months, when bikers on out on the roads, and from the fact that motorcyclists are far less protected in a crash than car occupants.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
July 4th is one of the most dangerous days to be on the roads. If you or a loved one gets hurt in a crash because someone else was driving unsafely, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. This is where the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office can help. Contact us online or call our St. Joseph law office at (816) 875-9373 if you’ve been hurt in a crash in the St. Joseph or Kansas City area.