Holidays are a popular time for road trips, parties, and new adventures! This summer is particularly exciting for people to hit the open road after staying home for the last 18 months. However, the increase of drivers on the road, combined with social gatherings, unfortunately also means an increase in the number of traffic accidents.
Independence Day and the holiday weekend itself are the most dangerous days for drivers to be on the road. Over the 4-day holiday period, the U.S. averages 450 fatal crashes per year. Of those traffic fatalities, more than 40% involved alcohol and a drunk driver.
Even though impaired driving is illegal, more than 10,000 people are killed each year in accidents involving alcohol. These crashes are more likely to occur during holidays, especially in the summer season. Here is a look at the 10 deadliest holidays to drive and what to do if you should be injured because of a DUI driver:
Riskiest Holidays for Drivers
- Fourth of July: July 4th is usually associated with backyard barbeques and beautiful fireworks displays, but it is also the deadliest day to drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 1,300 people were killed between 2015 and 2019 in motor vehicle crashes over the holiday period.
- Memorial Day Weekend: Many people look forward to Memorial Day weekend as it is thought of as the unofficial kick-off to the summer season. Families flock to the shores or head out on vacation, increasing the number of drivers on the road exponentially. This past Memorial Day weekend saw a 60% increase in travel over the previous year.
- Labor Day: If Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, Labor Day is its counterpart and signifies the end of summer. Over Labor Day weekend, people take one last road trip or go to one last party before school starts. Over the last three years, the average number of fatal crashes around Labor Day was 443.
- Columbus Day: You do not necessarily associate Columbus Day with increased travel or parties, but many companies now recognize Columbus Day as a paid holiday and most schools are closed. Families take advantage of this three-day weekend and travel for a mini-vacation or to see out-of-town friends and family. Most accidents occur over this time because of speeding.
- Father’s Day: Traveling to see dad on Father’s Day weekend is a time-honored tradition. Travel spikes in June, and the increase in cars on the road increases the chances of an accident.
- Mother’s Day: Just like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day is a time for travel. In 2021, travel hit a record over Mother’s Day weekend, as many Americans felt safe to see mom since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Halloween: Halloween is a fun time for creativity and family fun, but it is also ranked as the 7th most risky holiday for driving. The top cause of fatal car accidents on Halloween is drunk driving. Drunk driving accounts for 42% of all fatalities on Halloween.
- Thanksgiving: The Thanksgiving holiday is typically a time of travel for families across the United States. Many families travel by car, which has the highest fatality rate of any major accessible form of transportation. Young adults also tend to meet up with high school friends for parties over Thanksgiving break, causing a spike in alcohol-related accidents.
- Veterans Day: The increase in accidents over Veterans Day is similar to the increase for other three-day weekend holidays. Long weekend road trips are common over Veterans Day causing an increase in road traffic and an increase in accidents.
- Cinco de Mayo: Driving under the influence and speeding are unfortunately connected to Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Many people go to bars and restaurants and over-indulge and then drive irresponsibly leading to DUIs and accidents.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident with a Drunk Driver
Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially if the driver was impaired. Drunk driving accidents are 100% preventable, so you may be feeling angry and upset. If you are hit by a drunk driver, here are a few things to do and prepare for:
- Call the police. The impaired driver may try to make a case for you NOT to call the police out of fear of any legal problems that may arise for them. Drunk driving is a serious offense and should be reported to the police, even if it was a minor accident. Chances are this was not the first time the driver was impaired behind the wheel, so reporting it to the police may prevent other accidents down the road.
- Seek medical care. If you were injured in the accident, allow the emergency responders to provide medical care when they arrive. After the accident has dispersed, make an appointment with your own medical provider for a follow-up and physical. Document all injuries and ask for copies of your records to keep on file.
- Gather information. While the police will gather the information they need for their report, you should also try to gather as much information as possible for your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Write down the location of the accident, names and contact information for any witnesses, where the driver was coming from and going to, any observed behaviors or admissions that indicate intoxication, and the make and model of the involved vehicle.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. If you or a family member were injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Contact a reputable personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
Personal Injury Attorney for DUI Accident Victims
If you have experienced an accident as the result of a drunk driver, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is here to help. We have worked on thousands of personal injury cases in Central Pennsylvania and our team has decades of experience. We understand the trauma and pain an accident can cause, and the legal process afterward can be overwhelming. Let us take on the stress of your personal injury case so you can focus on recovering.
Reach out today to our attorneys at Dale E. Anstine for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 and do not charge a fee until we win your case. While we hope you do not need our services, we are here if you do.