Deadliest cities to drive in over Labor Day weekend

California and Texas have the most road fatalities on one of the deadliest holidays for driving.

Labor Day marks the end of summer — and your last chance to wear white. But it also marks the second-worst weekend to be on the roads in the United States, averaging 397 deaths on the road each year. The weekend’s driving deaths peaked in 2005 with 456 fatal car accidents.

To get this information, we analyzed state fatality data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2004 to 2018.

Labor Day’s deadly average comes in behind Fourth of July’s 451 car accident deaths, but it’s followed by Memorial Day weekend’s 360 and Thanksgiving weekend’s 328 average driving deaths.

Which cities are the deadliest for driving on Labor Day?

Los Angeles tops this unfortunate list with 117 car accident deaths on Labor Day weekend, spanning 2004 to 2018. Though Houston’s the second deadliest hotspot, this city rolls in at 59 deaths, well below Los Angeles’s numbers. Chicago is another city to watch out for, leading to 56 car accident deaths.

This information is based on the NHTSA’s Fatality and Injury Reporting System data.

Top 5 deadliest cities

Deadliest citiesNumber of deaths
Los Angeles, California117
Houston, Texas59
Chicago, Illinois56
Phoenix, Arizona43
Detroit, Michigan29

Which states are the deadliest on Labor Day?

Among states that host the most dangerous roads for Labor Day, the Golden State takes the lead with 547 deaths, followed closely by Texas at 522 deaths and Florida with 388.

Deadliest states for Labor Day driving

Top 5 deadliest states

Deadliest statesNumber of deaths
New York220

Deadliest states for drunk driving on Labor Day

Little surprise that the top three states for Labor Day weekend road deaths also hold the highest number of drunk driving deaths, albeit in a different order. Texas is the worst offender with 245 alcohol-related road deaths, followed by California at 195 deaths and Florida with 136.

Deadliest statesNumber of drunk driving deaths
North Carolina78

What time of day is deadliest to drive on Labor Day weekend?

Getting behind the wheel in the late evening is nearly three times as dangerous as driving during normal commuting hours. About 37% of Labor Day’s deadly accidents happen between 6 p.m. and midnight. Another 25% happen between midnight and 6 a.m.

By comparison, only 13% of the weekend’s deadly accidents happen from 6 a.m. to noon.

Time of DayDeadly car accidents
12 a.m.–3 a.m.943
3 a.m.–6 a.m.574
6 a.m.–9 a.m.343
9 a.m.–12 p.m.450
12 p.m.–3 p.m.623
3 p.m.–6 p.m.766
6 p.m.–9 p.m.1,121
9 p.m.–12 a.m.1090

Worst time of day for drunk driving on Labor Day

Of all the deadly car crashes over the long Labor Day weekend, 38% were related to alcohol from 2004 to 2018. The bulk of those deaths happen in the early morning hours, with drunk driving causing 63% of deaths between midnight and 3 a.m.

Time of DayDeadly drunk driving accidents
12 a.m.–3 a.m.597
3 a.m.–6 a.m.309
6 a.m.–9 a.m.81
9 a.m.–12 p.m.49
12 p.m.–3 p.m.91
3 p.m.–6 p.m.202
6 p.m.–9 p.m.431
9 p.m.–12 a.m.480

Why you need the right car insurance

If you’re hitting the road around Labor Day on two or more wheels, make sure you’re protected with auto insurance. A policy can’t stop something bad from happening, but it can protect you financially after a car accident. To find the right policy that fits your driving habits and history, compare your car insurance options.

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