If you’re asking yourself, “What holiday has the highest number of drunk driving accidents?” the answer might surprise you. While there is no single holiday that has the highest number of accidents, there are some that have higher risks than others. Here are some of the most popular holidays to avoid while driving drunk.
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Alcohol-related car accidents increase during the holiday season because people tend to socialize and have more to drink. According to reports, the holiday season leads to an increase in drunk driving and other alcohol-related crashes. Most state highway patrol departments report that during this time, nearly 25% of all Americans admit to drinking more alcohol. And between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there are an estimated 25,000 alcohol-related crashes in the U.S., including crashes that result in death. Among the most dangerous days to drive during the holiday season are Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Alcohol-related accidents are a major cause of these crashes, and many victims of these accidents were under the age of 20. The most common cause was alcohol-impaired driving, with three times the number of drunk drivers on the road than on any other day. According to statistics, drunk drivers are responsible for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths and injuries.
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times for drunk driving accidents. Nearly 4 out of 10 fatal crashes involve drunk drivers. Connecticut, Texas, and Rhode Island have the highest rates of drunk driving accidents during this time of year. In Connecticut, 67% of fatal crashes involved at least one drunk driver. In Rhode Island, there were 20 fatal drunk driving accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday period. In Texas, more than half of all drunk driving accidents took place on Thanksgiving day.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the day before Thanksgiving, also known as “Drinksgiving,” is a dangerous time to drink alcohol. In fact, from 2013 to 2017, the Thanksgiving holiday period was responsible for over 800 deaths in the U.S. because of drunk driving accidents. Moreover, the Thanksgiving holiday is also known as “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday” because of the heavy alcohol consumption that occurs on the day before the holiday. As a result, drunk driving accidents on Thanksgiving and Blackout Wednesday are likely to be even more prevalent during this time of year.
The Christmas holiday season is one of the deadliest times for drunk driving accidents. The number of fatal accidents spikes from Christmas day into the New Year. Many people are attending holiday parties, and the increase in traffic means more drunk drivers on the road. 40% of fatal crashes in these two weeks are caused by drunk drivers.
During the holiday season, drunk driving crashes claim the lives of hundreds of Americans. In December alone, over 800 people died in drunk driving crashes. In 2017, the weeks between Christmas and New Year’s accounted for 35 percent of all crash fatalities. Moreover, nearly half of the drivers who died in fatal crashes tested positive for alcohol or drugs.
Labor Day is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drunk driving. During the holiday weekend, four out of every 10 accidents are alcohol-related. Thirty percent of these accidents are caused by drunk drivers, and twenty-three percent involve drivers with blood alcohol levels twice the legal limit. In fact, in Maryland alone, more than one person died and one thousand were injured in drunk driving accidents during Labor Day.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a special enforcement campaign in place to help minimize these accidents. The goal of the campaign is to catch drunk drivers before they even get on the road and cause an accident.