The holidays are a busy time as we spend time with family and friends. Statistics show that the 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Years is the busiest long-distance-travel period of the year. Many drivers travel 50 miles or more away from their hometown – more than any other time in the year.
Sadly, this is also one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. According to a national study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 100 people die per day in Car Accidents across the US. Six of the ten deadliest days are around holidays – July 2-4, Dec. 23, Jan. 1, and Sept. 2 (on or near Labor Day).
10 Deadliest Days of the Year To Drive
- 1. July 4
- 2. July 3
- 3. December 23
- 4. August 3
- 5. January 1
- 6. August 6
- 7. August 4
- 8. August 12
- 9. July 2
- 10. September 2
Many of these preventable car accidents are alcohol related. According to a NHTSA study from 2001-2005, 38% of the traffic fatalities during the Christmas period involved a Drunk Driver or Motorcycle rider and 41% during the New Year’s period. This compares with 31 percent for the year as a whole. In 2010, Colorado law enforcement officials arrested more than 1,600 motorists for DUI offenses between Thanksgiving and New Years.
Pedestrians are also at an increased risk during the holidays. Normally, they account for 13% of crash fatalities with the highest rates between Halloween and New Years Days.
It is important to be aware of the increased risks around the holidays and to prepare accordingly. Always make a plan if you are attending holiday festivities. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) helps with their “Make a Plan” initiative where drivers can pledge to make alternate arrangements such as a designated driver or taxi instead of drinking and driving.