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July Fourth exceeds other holidays in DUI fatality numbers

Fourth of July celebrations often lead to cases of drunk driving throughout Missouri. In fact, Independence Day is the worst U.S. holiday for fatal drunk driving crashes, according to data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. FARS reported 1,192 DUI deaths on Independence Day between 2010 and 2017. Memorial Day, the second deadliest holiday, saw 1,105 deaths.

In 2017, there were 184 DUI fatalities over the Fourth of July weekend. Compared to an equivalent period of four to five summer days, the risk for a DUI fatality shot up significantly. It should be kept in mind that summer is an especially dangerous season for DUI crashes. AAA calls the span between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 deadliest days of summer.”

For Independence Day to fall on the weekend is not so bad because the DUI fatality rate goes down to 36.3 (compared to 43.4 when on a weekday). Saturday is the safest day. If the holiday occurs on a Wednesday, however, drivers will want to be extra cautious. The rate comes to 52 deaths on average when July Fourth lands on a Wednesday.

One might be wondering what holidays are relatively safe. While holiday driving is almost always more dangerous, there are comparatively fewer DUI fatalities on Thanksgiving (27.9) and Christmas (27.7).

Of course, drunk driving is unacceptable no matter the day or time. It is a serious form of negligence that could lead to a personal injury claim. In many cases, a settlement claim will be pursued with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. Insurance companies have a legal team for fighting such cases, so a victim who desires compensation may want to retain legal representation before heading to negotiations.