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Deadliest cities for driving on Valentine’s Day

The big heart of Houston ranks the least safe during the Day of Love.

Two glasses of wine in front of fireplace

Those celebrating Valentine’s Day have enjoyed mostly safe driving compared to other holidays throughout the year. But there are a few cities to avoid if you want to stay as safe as possible. Plus, steer clear of the holiday’s drunk driving dilemma by finding another driver beforehand.

Driving fatalities on Valentine’s Day

Fatal crashes happen much less often on Valentine’s Day than riskier days and holidays like July 4th weekend, which sees hundreds of deadly accidents. In total, about 1,200 fatal crashes have happened on Valentine’s Day from 2004 to 2018, which averages only 80 per year. That’s less than the average of 99 per day on any other day of the year over the same time span.

Fatal car crashes on Valentine’s Day by year

Fatal crashes
201877
201781
201694
201597
201473
201371
201266
201163
201073
200990
200878
200767
200679
200574
2004113

Most dangerous cities for driving on Valentine’s Day

Both Houston and Phoenix boast a growing number of residents, but with spread-out neighborhoods that may lead to more driving, there is increased chance for accidents. The other cities’ total crashes might chalk up to more traffic as couples compete for the most romantic spots. Or maybe couples are opting to drive to their Valentine’s Day events, since taking the subway might not spark much romance.

Cities with the most fatal car accidents on Valentine’s Day

CityFatal crashes
Houston12
Phoenix8
Jackson7
Charlotte6
Nashville6

Most dangerous states to drive in on Valentine’s Day

You’ll see Texas, California and Florida hailed as treacherous cities for a lot of holidays. One possible reason that’s true for Valentine’s Day: nearly all states on our list fall within the top 10 most populated except Tennessee. You can expect more accidents on the roads where there are more drivers.

States with the most fatal car accidents on Valentine’s Day

StateFatal crashes for 2004 to 2018
Alabama26
Alaska0
Arizona41
Arkansas23
California122
Colorado7
Connecticut7
D.C. 2
Delaware3
Florida92
Georgia59
Hawaii5
Idaho4
Illinois32
Indiana24
Iowa7
Kansas6
Kentucky35
Louisiana27
Maine6
Maryland14
Massachusetts11
Michigan28
Minnesota18
Mississippi37
Missouri16
Montana6
Nebraska4
Nevada12
New Hampshire2
New Jersey14
New Mexico13
New York28
North Carolina46
North Dakota3
Ohio38
Oklahoma28
Oregon16
Pennsylvania47
Rhode Island0
South Carolina32
South Dakota5
Tennessee47
Texas124
Utah8
Vermont1
Virginia20
Washington21
West Virginia10
Wisconsin17
Wyoming2

Drunk driving on Valentine’s Day

Drunk drivers have caused 383 fatal car accidents on Valentine’s Day from 2004 to 2018. Of those, 330 drivers had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Drivers can keep this romantic night incident-free by planning a designated driver or rideshare ahead of time.

Drunk driving the leading cause of Valentine’s Day fatalities

About 32% of Valentine’s Day fatal crashes involve drunk driving. That rate is on par with drunk driving around New Year’s Day, another holiday connected to drinking.

The second leading cause of fatal accidents is speeding, suggesting drivers should slow down and smell the roses during their night out.

Worst time to drive on Valentine’s Day

Driving between 6 pm to 8 pm proves the most dangerous for the holiday. That’s probably because many drivers are commuting home or heading out for a special dinner, adding to traffic.

Road hazards increase if Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend. Drivers saw 300 fatal crashes on the three days that Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday between 2004 to 2018. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday for 2020, be extra vigilant when you’re out and about.

Protect yourself on Valentine’s Day with car insurance

Valentine’s Day may not rank as one of the worst holidays for driving ― good news if you’re hankering for the hottest spots or finest dining. But with the right car insurance coverage, you might not notice much of a setback if you experience car damage.

How did we find these stats?

To give you the most accurate information, we dug up data for February 14th for years 2004 through 2018 using the NHTSA Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool. The tool works by allowing you to choose from a variety of criteria to create a specialized report.

We looked at criteria involving fatal crashes compared to total crashes during these years. We also compared the number of crashes for different days of the week, times of the day or violations like speeding.

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