Deadliest cities to drive in during Thanksgiving Weekend |

Deadliest cities to drive in during Thanksgiving Weekend

Two US cities tie for most driving fatalities during Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving weekend is well known for being a time to be with family, stuff our faces with food and add a couple of extra notches to the belt. What you might not know is that Thanksgiving weekend is also the most dangerous weekend of the year to be behind the wheel, with an average of 328 deaths annually according to analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data collected between 2011 and 2017 and found that not only is Thanksgiving the deadliest weekend on the roads but that driving fatalities peaked in 2017 with a total of 381 deaths.

Thanksgiving leads ahead of Fourth of July which is the second deadliest weekend to be on the road each year with an average of 318 deaths. Thanksgiving is also slightly ahead of Memorial Day weekend, which averages 305 deaths.

What cities are the deadliest for driving on Thanksgiving Day weekend? (2017)

Napa (CA) and Newcastle (UT) tie for the most dangerous city to drive during the Thanksgiving long weekend with four fatalities. They were closely followed by ten other cities, all with three deaths.

Rank City State Number of deaths
1 Napa California 4
1 Newcastle Utah 4
2 Phoenix Arizona 3
2 Jacksonville Florida 3
2 Miami Florida 3
2 Lawrenceville Georgia 3
2 Chicago Illinois 3
2 Sabetha Kansas 3
2 Rudolph Ohio 3
2 Thurman Ohio 3
2 Houston Texas 3
2 Pecos Texas 3

What states are the deadliest for Thanksgiving Day weekend? (2017)

Not surprisingly, after claiming the top spot of the top twelve deadliest cities to drive during the Thanksgiving weekend, California and Texas also come out atop the most dangerous states, with 51 and 42 roads deaths respectively.

Rank State Number of deaths
1 California 51
2 Texas 42
3 Florida 34
4 North Carolina 20
5 Ohio 18

What is the city with the greatest number of drunk-driving deaths? (2017)

Overindulging in food is synonymous with Thanksgiving but so is drinking. One of the consequences of this is that 26% of all Thanksgiving road fatalities are attributable to drunk drivers. Of all of the drunk driving fatalities in 2017, Talladega, Alabama; Croton, Michigan; Charleston, South Carolina; and Odessa, Texas claim the number one spot with two deaths due to drunk driving.

Rank City State Number of drunk-driving deaths
1 Talladega Alabama 2
1 Croton Michigan 2
1 Charleston South Carolina 2
1 Odessa Texas 2

Which state has the greatest number of drunk driving deaths? (2017)

In regards to drunk driving, California and Texas topped the list with 12 deaths road fatalities each attributed to drunk drivers in 2016. This is also 24% of Thanksgiving drunk driving deaths for the year. Two other southern states rounded out the top six, with six drunk driving deaths in South Carolina and 5 drunk driving deaths in Alabama.

Rank State Number of drunk-driving deaths
1 California 12
1 Texas 12
2 South Carolina 6
3 Alabama 5
3 Illinois 5
3 Ohio 5

What time of day is the deadliest to drive in on Thanksgiving weekend? (2017)

If you are going to drive over Thanksgiving weekend, you might want to do so earlier in the day. Only 20% of fatal accidents occur between the hours of 5 A.M. and 12 P.M. versus driving at night (8 P.M. and 4 A.M.) and afternoon/evening (1 P.M and 7 P.M), which accounts for 40% of road deaths each.

Time of day Deaths % of total deaths
Morning 75 20%
Afternoon/Evening 153 40%
Night 153 40%

How many of these deaths are alcohol-related? (2017)

Probably not surprisingly, 58% of all drunk-driving deaths occur at night. Drunk-driving deaths are six times as likely to occur between the hours of 8 P.M. to 4 A.M. as they are in the morning

Time of day Drunk-driving deaths % of total deaths
Morning 11 11%
Afternoon/Evening 31 31%
Night 57 58%

Don’t be a turkey and compare your car insurance options

While car insurance can’t stop you from getting into an accident this turkey day, it can protect you from the financial consequences. But, you need to make sure you’ve got the right level of coverage. Compare your car insurance options today and be thankful.

For media inquiries:

Jennifer McDermott

Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

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