Deadliest cities to drive in over July 4th weekend

Fireworks, flags and road fatalities

Updated

Fact checked
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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

CityStateFatalities
HoustonTexas25
ChicagoIllinois19
Los AngelesCalifornia15
San AntonioTexas12
New YorkNew York11
JacksonvilleFlorida11
PhoenixArizona10
DallasTexas10
DetroitMichigan9
St LouisMissouri8

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.

StateFatalities
California177
Texas170
FLorida121
Missouri81
Pennsylvania71
Ohio69
Illinois68
South Carolina57
New York56
Georgia52

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.

StateDeaths
Vermont3
North Dakota6
Rhode Island6
Kansas8
Delaware9
Wyoming9
South Dakota10
New Hampshire11
Alaska12
Maine12

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.

YearAccidents involving a drunk driverTotal fatal accidents% of accidents involving a drunk driver
200819238849.48%
200937154068.70%
201019743245.60%
201118442942.89%
20123927814.03%
201319543744.62%
201414931447.45%
201514833843.79%
201620146343.41%
201719948341.20%
Total1,8754,10245.71%

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 weekCount of drunk driving accidentsFatalities due to drunk driving
Sunday456510
Monday361391
Tuesday295322
Wednesday287320
Thursday337389
Friday433481
Saturday532578

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
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347-677-4931
nicole.gallina@finder.com
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