Memorial day weekend: deadliest cities for drivers |

Deadliest cities to drive in over Memorial Day weekend

The holiday road trip is as American as apple pie. But you might want to think twice before jumping behind the wheel this Memorial Day. According to research conducted by, Memorial Day is the third-deadliest weekend when it comes to road fatalities.We looked at fatality data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2011 to 2016 in 42 states, finding an average 309 deaths on the road over Memorial Day weekend. That figure peaked at 331 in 2016.

Memorial Day ranks behind the Fourth of July at 336 deaths and Thanksgiving weekend at 319 deaths as the most dangerous holiday weekends to be on the road.

According to AAA, more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. Depending on where you live, you might want to pay extra attention while on the road.

Which are the most dangerous cities?

If you’re hitting the road in San Antonio this Memorial Day, keep your wits about: At 6 road deaths, the city records more that any other in the US. It’s followed by Leesburg, Florida (4); Norwood, Louisiana (4); and Nashville, Tennesee (4).

Top 9 deadliest cities

Rank Deaths State City
1 6 Texas San Antonio
T2 4 Florida Leesburg
T2 4 Louisiana Norwood
T2 4 Tennessee Nashville
T5 3 California Los Angeles
T5 3 Georgia Atlanta
T5 3 Idaho Boise
T5 3 Texas Seabrook
T5 3 Wisconsin Delavan

San Antonio wasn’t the only entry from the Lone Star State. Seabrook, Texas, is also on the list, making Texas the only state with two cities in the top five.

Top 5 deadliest states

Texas also topped the list as the most deadly state, recording 33 vehicle-related deaths. The state is followed by California (28) and Florida (26).

Deadliest states Number of deaths
Texas 33
California 28
Florida 26
Tennessee 14
Illinois 13

If you have to drive, what time is safest?

It’s no surprise that the safest time to hit the road is in the morning, with fewer than a fifth (19%) of all holiday fatalities occurring just after sunup. The roads only get more dangerous as the day wears on, with 34% of accidents occurring in the afternoon or evening and nearly half (47%) occurring between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Deadliest time of day Number of deaths % of total deaths
Morning 63 19.03%
Afternoon/evening 113 34.14%
Night 155 46.83%

Does booze play a part?

It most certainly does. Roughly a third (34%) of all road fatalities over Memorial Day weekend involve a drunk driver. According to the latest CDC data, this is slightly higher than the national average of 28%.

Not surprisingly, the time of day plays a big role in how many drunk drivers are on the road, with 68% of fatalities involving drunk drivers occurring between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Time of day Number of deaths % of total deaths
Morning 9 7.96%
Afternoon/evening 27 23.89%
Night 77 68.14%

Other dangerous behaviors

When you’re on the road this holiday weekend, look out for drivers on their phones. A recent study found that 44.9% of American adults surveyed admit to talking on the phone while behind the wheel, with another 16.3% admitting to texting while driving.

Other dangerous behaviors people report include speeding, driving while fatigued and fixing their appearance from behind the wheel.

Protecting yourself with car insurance

Car insurance isn’t going to stop you from being involved in an accident but it can help you deal with the financial consequences. Whether you’re travelling on two, four or more wheels, it pays to compare your auto insurance options. Make sure you review the policies and perks available before making a decision to ensure you’re getting the coverage that’s right for you.

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Rachel Dix-Kessler

Digital PR and content coordinator at the forefront
of personal finance trends.

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