The Fourth of July is the most dangerous day to drive in the U.S., according to a new study from Geotab, and AAA forecasts that roughly 37.5 million Americans will take a road trip of at least 50 miles this weekend — up 2.9% from last year.
The National Safety Council said its calculations indicate 582 people may be killed on roads during this holiday weekend period, and an additional 66,900 may be seriously injured in crashes.
July 4 registers an average of 119 deadly crashes and a fatal crash rate of 14.9 per billion miles driven, research from Geotab found. Not surprisingly, July 4 has the highest percentage of fatal crashes involving alcohol or incidents of driving under the influence, with an average of 47%.
On average, 28% of all road crashes are related to alcohol and driving under the influence, but that rate rises significantly around national holidays. New Year’s Day (41.6%) and Halloween (41%), which also landed in Geotab’s top 10 list of most dangerous days to drive, have a high percentage of alcohol-related fatalities, too. Each recorded a fatal crash rate of 13.6.
Geotab’s study analyzed road fatality data over a 10-year period to determine national trends as well as how states in the country differ in road safety. Geotab is a telematics and GPS vehicle tracking company. Based on its findings, the company created an interactive map that indicates the most dangerous day to drive in each individual state. Click here to access the map.
Geotab researchers also found that July, August and September are the most dangerous months in which to drive, with each registering an average fatal crash rate of 12.
The top 10 most dangerous states for road deaths are Montana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota, according to the study.
In its research, Geotab relied on road traffic, crash and fatality reports, including the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and Traffic Volume Trends — databases managed by agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Using this data, Geotab calculated a fatal crash rate for each day and U.S. state, made up of the total number of fatal road accidents per billion miles driven by cars, trucks and motorcycles.