Deadliest cities to drive in over Christmas weekend

The top city for the most Yuletide fatalities on the road leads by two deaths.

Stay safe if you’re hitting the road over the Christmas holiday. Christmas time ranks as the fifth most dangerous major holiday weekend to be on US roads, according to recent analysis conducted by

We analyzed the National Highway Safety Administration’s most recent data collected for Christmas Day, and the weekend surrounding the holiday, to find which cities are the most dangerous for driving over the holiday weekend. We also analyzed data for Christmas day over a span of 10 years between 2009 and 2018, to determine if driving deaths are going up and which Christmas day is the deadliest.

Which cities were deadliest during Christmas weekend?

At 10 fatalities, San Bernadino, California takes a strong lead for the most dangerous city to drive in around Christmas for 2018. It’s followed by Phoenix, Arizona with eight total deaths. San Diego, California and Palm Beach, Florida tie for the third deadliest cities to be on the road in with seven deaths.

RankDeadliest cityStateNumber of deaths
1San BernadinoCalifornia10
3San DiegoCalifornia7
3Palm BeachFlorida7
4Los AngelesCalifornia6

What states were deadliest during Christmas weekend?

Take care driving through California and Texas over Christmas weekend, both of these states tied for the most amount of road deaths in 2018. Each of these states accounted for 11% (49 deaths) of Christmas weekend fatalities in 2018. Florida takes second place with 9% (40 deaths), followed by Georgia at 7% (30 deaths).

RankDeadliest StateNumber of deaths% of total death

Which city had the most drunk-driving deaths?

Drinking-related Christmas festivities may come with a consequence, with 33% of all Christmas weekend road fatalities in 2018 attributable to drunk drivers. Of all the drunk driving fatalities over the Christmas weekend, Phoneix, Arizona; Palm Beach, Florida; and Fort Worth, Texas all take first place for the most deaths due to drunk driving with four deaths.

RankCityStateNumber of drunk-driving deaths
1Palm BeachFlorida4
1Fort WorthTexas4
2San BernadinoCalifornia3

Which state had the most drunk-driving deaths?

When it comes to drunk drivers, Texas tops the list at 18 alcohol-related road fatalities in 2018. California follows with 15 alcohol-related deaths over the holiday weekend. These two states made up 22% of drunk driving deaths for Christmas weekend in 2018.

RankStateNumber of drunk-driving deaths

Most dangerous time to be on the road over Christmas weekend

Perhaps not surprising is that evening and night, after we’ve all had our fill of merriment, is the most dangerous time to get behind the wheel over the holidays.

The data revealed that 41% of all road fatalities over Christmas weekend 2018 occurred between the hours of noon and 8 p.m., with 184 fatalities. Closely following is the night, which accounted for 39% (175 deaths) of all road fatalities.

Time of dayNumber of deaths% of total deaths

How many of these deaths were alcohol-related?

Not only do dangers on the road increase at night, but it’s also when the most drunk-driving accidents occur. Of the total 175 accidents that took place at nighttime overall, 51% (89 deaths) involved a drunk driver.

Time of dayDrunk-driving deaths% of total deaths

Christmas day driving fatalities over 10 years

Road fatalities for this holiday over the past 10 years don’t hold a steady increase over the years. However, the past four years hold the top four ranks for the most road fatalities on Christmas day. And, 2013 saw the least amount of road deaths with 49 driving fatalities.

RankYearTotal Christmas road death over 10 years

Which Christmas day is the deadliest?

Over the span of 10 years, Friday Christmases prove to be the most deadly day to be on the road with 77 road fatalities. Sunday and Monday Christmases tie for the second most dangerous driving day, with 67 road fatalities. Some days over the past 10 years have seen Christmas twice, for those days we averaged the number of deaths for both years on that day to determine the deadliest days.

RankDayChristmas day road deaths

Purchasing the right car insurance

Most of us prefer to spend time with loved ones over Christmas without worrying about the stress of potential car accidents. To protect yourself financially, look for the best policy for your needs by comparing your car insurance options.

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Allan Givens
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