Deadliest cities to drive in over July 4th weekend |

Deadliest cities to drive in over July 4th weekend

Eight US cities tie for most driving fatalities during Independence Day weekend.

Fireworks, BBQs and the great outdoors — Fourth of July is just around the corner. But this year, you might want to leave the car at home, calling Uber or Lyft instead. The weekends around Independence Day are the deadliest on American roads, according to recent research.

We analyzed fatality data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2011 and 2016 for 42 states, finding an average 320 deaths on the roads around the July 4th holiday. Fatal accidents peaked in 2013 with 407 road deaths.

For deadly driving, the Fourth of July is closely followed by Thanksgiving weekend at an average 319 deaths and Memorial Day at 309 deaths.

Which cities pose the biggest threat on July 4th?

Among cities with the most dangerous roads around the Fourth of July are eight with three deaths each, most of them in Southern states.

Three of those cities — Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio — are in Texas, with two — Bella Glade and Tallahassee — in Florida, supporting our findings below of the most deadly states in America.

Top 8 deadliest cities

Deadliest city State Deaths
Anderson South Carolina 3
Bella Glade Florida 3
Dallas Texas 3
Fort Worth Texas 3
Middle Island New York 3
San Antonio Texas 3
Tallahassee Florida 3
Tucson Arizona 3

Top 4 deadliest states

Accounting for the deadliest cities to come out of our research, it should be no surprise that both Florida and Texas make the list of most dangerous states to drive in over July 4th. Florida tops the list at 36 road deaths between 2011 and 2016, followed by Texas (29), California (25) and New York (16).

Deadliest state Deaths
Florida 36
Texas 29
California 25
New York 16

What is the deadliest day of the week?

This year, Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday. So no long weekend to worry about, right? Not necessarily.

The last time Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday was in 2012, when it tied with Thursday at 98 deaths for the second most deadly Fourth of July in six years. That number comes in behind Saturday, when 119 people lost their lives on the road in 2015.

Weekday Year Deaths
Monday 2011 92
Wednesday 2012 98
Thursday 2013 98
Friday 2014 92
Saturday 2015 119
Monday 2016 97

What is the safest time to be on the road?

If you plan on getting behind the wheel this Fourth, you might want to do it earlier rather than later. The majority of road deaths happen between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., typically a time to unwind after the long day.

Time of day Deaths % of total deaths
Morning 67 20.00%
Afternoon/Evening 118 35.22%
Night 150 44.78%

Does alcohol play a part in July 4th fatalities?

Yes, sadly. Between 2011 and 2016, drunk drivers accounted for some 36% of Fourth of July road deaths. Not surprisingly, deadly accidents resulting from drunk driving also occurred predominantly during the twilight hours — 61.67% of accidents.

Terrifyingly, only 17% of Fourth of July accidents involving alcohol did not result in a fatality.

Time of day Deaths % of total deaths
Morning 15 12.50%
Afternoon/Evening 31 25.83%
Night 74 61.67%

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!

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Rachel Dix-Kessler

Public Relations Manager at the forefront
of personal finance trends.

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