Fireworks, flags and road fatalities

Independence Day is among the worst weekends to get behind the wheel.

The Fourth of July falls on a Thursday in 2019, encouraging millions of Americans to plan for four consecutive days off. The increased number of people hitting the road could make the holiday weekend one of the worst for driving in America.

How bad? Since 2008, roughly 451 (451.6) people have died on US roads over Independence Day holiday weekend each year, according to our analysis of the most recent Fatality Analysis Reporting System data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2008 to 2017.

In 2017, Fourth of July weekend was one of the deadliest for driving in the last decade, with 483 fatal accidents resulting in 531 deaths on the road.

Which cities pose the biggest threat on July 4th?

Houston, Texas, is the most dangerous city to drive in over the long holiday weekend, accounting for 25 road fatalities since 2008.

Houston is followed by Chicago, which recorded 19 deaths, and Los Angeles, which recorded 15 over that same time.

Top 10 most dangerous cities to drive in — the first week of July 2008 to 2017

City State Fatalities
Houston Texas 25
Chicago Illinois 19
Los Angeles California 15
San Antonio Texas 12
New York New York 11
Jacksonville Florida 11
Phoenix Arizona 10
Dallas Texas 10
Detroit Michigan 9
St Louis Missouri 8

Which is the most dangerous state 2008-2017?

While Texas is home to three of the top 10 most dangerous cities, it’s not the most dangerous state to drive in over the long holiday weekend.

That dubious honor falls to California, which has recorded 177 road fatalities over the long Independence Day weekends from 2008 to 2017.

Texas comes in at a close second with 170 fatalities, trailed by Florida at 121 deaths.

State Fatalities
California 177
Texas 170
FLorida 121
Missouri 81
Pennsylvania 71
Ohio 69
Illinois 68
South Carolina 57
New York 56
Georgia 52

Which states boast the lowest road fatalities?

Idyllic Vermont saw only three road fatalities over Independence Day weekend in the last decade. The Green Mountain State is followed by North Dakota and Rhode island at six deaths on the road apiece.

State Deaths
Vermont 3
North Dakota 6
Rhode Island 6
Kansas 8
Delaware 9
Wyoming 9
South Dakota 10
New Hampshire 11
Alaska 12
Maine 12

Most dangerous states of the last 10 years

Drunk driving an issue on Independence Day

Over the Fourth of July weekend, drunk drivers are involved in close to half (45.71%) of all fatal road accidents.

Year Accidents involving a drunk driver Total fatal accidents % of accidents involving a drunk driver
2008 192 388 49.48%
2009 371 540 68.70%
2010 197 432 45.60%
2011 184 429 42.89%
2012 39 278 14.03%
2013 195 437 44.62%
2014 149 314 47.45%
2015 148 338 43.79%
2016 201 463 43.41%
2017 199 483 41.20%
Total 1,875 4,102 45.71%

Worst time of the week for drunk drivers

Perhaps unsurprising, you’re more likely to be involved in a fatal accident with a drunk driver on a Saturday during the Fourth of July weekend.

Number of fatal drunk driving accidents on 4th July 2008-2017

Day of week Count of drunk driving accidents Fatalities due to drunk driving
Sunday 456 510
Monday 361 391
Tuesday 295 322
Wednesday 287 320
Thursday 337 389
Friday 433 481
Saturday 532 578

Protecting yourself with car insurance

While car insurance won’t protect you from a drunk driver or stop your car from a crash, it can help you deal with the financial consequences of an accident that might take place on your way to celebrate with fireworks.

If you’re hitting the road this Fourth of July on two, four or more wheels, make sure you’re protected with strong auto insurance. Don’t have a policy you’re happy with? Compare your car insurance options to ensure you get the best coverage that fits your needs and budget. Here’s to a safe July 4th!

For media inquiries:

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Allan Givens
Public Relations Manager
203-818-2928
allan.givens@finder.com
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Nicole Gallina
Communications Coordinator
347-677-4931
nicole.gallina@finder.com
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