New Year’s Eve might be the biggest collective party night of the year, but while it is one of the deadliest driving days, it does not usually top the list. Most years, that dubious distinction belongs to one of the summer holiday weekends. Why are these joyful occasions so deadly? One word—alcohol.

When Parties Involve Drinking, Traffic Fatalities Rise

Holiday weekends throughout the year have some things in common that contribute to the spikes in traffic accidents and fatalities that tend to go hand-in-hand with celebrations. Fewer people are at work, and more people are on the road. Many of us attend parties and barbecues that involve drinking alcohol. Even when they are not drunk, partygoers stay out late and drive home when they are tired. Finally, the relaxed holiday vibe causes people to let their guards down and become more easily distracted. These factors contribute to crashes on the following major holidays:

  1. Memorial Day. As the official start of summer, people seem to go a little crazy on Memorial Day weekend. Not only is it a heavy travel weekend, but it is a popular time for outdoor barbecues that often involve drinking all day.
  2. July 4th. We tend to drive from one event to another as we celebrate the birth of our nation, increasing traffic on the road and ignoring the possibility that we might be too drunk to drive.
  3. Night before Thanksgiving. Typically the busiest bar night of the year as people return home and relax before the big family gathering, this night, along with Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, contribute to a deadly weekend.
  4. St. Patrick’s Day. In the Boston area, there is no bigger party day than St. Patrick’s Day. With bars opening first thing in the morning, it’s no wonder this day sees a spike in drunk driving arrests and fatal crashes each year.
  5. New Year’s Day. Technically, most of us are returning from parties after midnight, making January 1 more dangerous than December 31. However, many partygoers plan ahead with overnight stays and Ubers, making this holiday less deadly than some of the others.

No one wants to miss out on the fun of a holiday celebration, but it is important that you take precautions to avoid being a statistic on what should be a joyous occasion. If you are injured, or a loved one is killed on a busy holiday weekend, odds are the driver who hit you was at fault. Talk to the car accident attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas about holding negligent drivers responsible for compensating you for your injuries.