As we are in the midst of some of the nation’s favorite holiday seasons, we must remember to pay attention to the roadways, as the holidays are also the most dangerous times to be behind the wheel. In addition, a spokesman for AAA stated that “the combined factors of more than 50% more drivers on the road and higher-than-usual alcohol consumption contribute to its danger”.
Alcohol consumption has quickly become a primary concern for those tracking fatality data, as traffic accident fatalities increase substantially during the holiday season, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. In fact, the NHTSA stated that drivers between the ages of 21 to 24 have the highest level of involvement in alcohol-impaired driving.
The following includes the six most dangerous holidays to travel by car:
On Christmas and Christmas Eve of 2009, there were a total of 262 traffic fatalities, and of these fatalities 37 percent were alcohol related. The remaining accidents were partially contributed to adverse weather conditions including snow, ice, rain, or sleet.
5. Labor Day
Recognized as the last holiday party before the fall season begins, many people make the awful decision to drink and drive. In 2009, there were 360 traffic fatalities over Labor Day weekend, while 38 percent of the fatalities involved drunk driving. Over this particular weekend, AAA predicted there were nearly 30 million travelers on our nation’s roadways, which increased congestion, and unfortunately fatal accidents.
4. Fourth of July
In 2009, there were 410 people killed in traffic related accidents, while 40 percent of these accidents were alcohol related.
On Thanksgiving of 2009, there were an estimated 411 traffic fatalities, while 34 percent were contributed to alcohol. One of the primary reasons Thanksgiving is so high on this list is that the night before is known as the largest party night of the year, thus resulting in numerous fatalities.
2. New Year’s
It comes as no surprise that New Years is on the top of the list, as it is a very popular night of celebration. The NHTSA stated that over 460 traffic fatalities occurred over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in 2009, while a whopping 40 percent were alcohol related.
1. Memorial Day
Memorial Day weekend is the most dangerous holiday to travel by car in the United States. In 2009, there were a total of 473 traffic related fatalities, while 42 percent of these fatalities were related to alcohol consumption.