Deadliest cities to drive in over New Year’s weekend

A 10% drop in fatalities from 2016 to 2017 is something to celebrate.

Take care when driving over New Year’s: The holiday weekend ranks as the sixth-deadliest major holiday weekend in the US, according to finder.com research.

We analyzed data for 48 states collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2011 to 2017, finding that each year, road fatalities spike to an average of 248 deaths over New Year’s weekend.

One break in the clouds? The 10% drop in road fatalities from 2016 to 2017, with 249 total road deaths in 2017 versus 277 in 2016. Let’s look forward to a continuing downward trend for 2018.

Which cities were deadliest over New Year’s weekend 2017?

We found a three-way tie for most dangerous city on the road over New Year’s at three fatalities each for Easton, Massachusetts; Rogersville, Alabama; and Yukon, Oklahoma.

Rank Deadliest City State Number of deaths
1 Easton Massachusetts 3
1 Rogersville Alabama 3
1 Yukon Oklahoma 3

*Rankings are based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from December 30, 2017, to January 1, 2018.

What states were deadliest over New Year’s weekend 2017?

Texas was the most deadly state to drive in over New Year’s weekend 2017, accounting for 12% of road fatalities or 29 deaths in 2017. Following the Lone Star State is Florida at 8% (20 deaths) and North Carolina and California tied at 7% (17 deaths).

Rank State Number of deaths % of Total deaths
1 Texas 29 12%
2 Florida 20 8%
3 North Carolina 17 7%
3 California 17 7%
4 Alabama 12 5%
5 Pennsylvania 10 4%
5 South Carolina 10 4%

*Rankings are based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from December 30, 2017, to January 1, 2018. We rounded percentages to the nearest whole number.

Most dangerous time to be on the road

Given that most celebrations take place by moonlight, it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that nighttime is the most dangerous time to be on the road over New Year’s weekend, with 40% of all fatalities (99 deaths) in 2017 occurring between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

However, unlike with Christmas and other holiday weekends, we found little difference between driving in the morning or driving in the afternoon when it came to the number of fatalities in 2017.

Time of day Number of deaths % of Total deaths
Morning 74 30%
Afternoon/evening 76 31%
Night 99 40%

*Rankings are based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from December 30, 2017, to January 1, 2018. We rounded percentages to the nearest whole number.

Drunk driving worst during night

Popping Champagne is nearly synonymous with ringing in the new year. That said, drunk driving is a major problem over New Year’s.

Over the extended holiday in 2017, 1 in 3 (33%) driving fatalities were attributed to drunk driving. Those under the influence also accounted for almost half (55%) of all road fatalities between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Time of day Number of deaths % of Drunk driving deaths
Morning 23 28%
Afternoon/evening 14 17%
Night 46 55%

*Rankings are based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from December 30, 2017, to January 1, 2018. We rounded percentages to the nearest whole number.

Purchasing the right car insurance

New Year’s weekend is about celebrating a fresh start and resolving to ease life’s burdens. And while you can’t prevent accidents, you can prepare for when they occur.

When planning for 2019, compare your car insurance options to find the strongest and cheapest protection you’re eligible for.

For media inquiries:

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Nicole Gallina
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