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Deadliest cities for driving on Valentine’s Day

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

While Valentine’s Day weekend is a time for sharing love, it also comes with dangers on the road. Valentine’s Day weekend saw a total of 313 deaths in 2019 according to a recent analysis conducted by finder.com.

We analyzed the National Highway Safety Administration’s most recent data collected for Valentine’s Day, and the weekend surrounding the holiday, to find which cities and states are the most dangerous for driving over the holiday weekend. We also analyzed data for Valentine’s Day over the span of 10 years, between 2010 and 2019, to determine if driving deaths are going up and which Valentine’s Day is the deadliest.

Which cities were deadliest during Valentine’s Day weekend?

At six fatalities, Phoenix, Arizona takes the lead for the most dangerous city to drive in around Valentine’s weekend 2019. It’s closely followed by Dallas, Texas with five total deaths. Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Orlando and Houston all tie for the third deadliest cities to be on the road in, each with four deaths.

RankDeadliest cityStateNumber of deaths
1PhoenixArizona6
2DallasTexas5
3Los AngelesCalifornia4
3San BernadinoCalifornia4
3OrlandoFlorida4
3HoustonTexas4

Which states were the deadliest for Valentine’s Day weekend?

Take care driving through Florida over Valentine’s Day weekend, this state accounts for 12% (39 deaths) of Valentine’s Day weekend road fatalities in 2019. Texas takes second place with about 11% (36 deaths) of total deaths, followed by California with 9% (27 deaths) of total deaths over the holiday weekend.

RankStateNumber of deaths% of total deaths
1Florida3912%
2Texas3611%
3California279%
4Tennessee134%
5Alabama123%
5Arizona123%
5North Carolina123%

Which city had the most drunk-driving deaths?

Drinking-related Valentine’s Day festivities come with a consequence, with 29% of all Valentine’s Day weekend road fatalities in 2019 attributable to drunk drivers. Of all drunk driving fatalities over this lover’s weekend, Santa Ana, California; and Dallas, Texas tie for first place for the most deaths due to drunk driving with four deaths.

RankCityStateNumber of drunk-driving deaths
1Santa AnaCalifornia4
1DallasTexas4
2JacksonMississippi3
2ColumbusOhio3
3KnoxvilleTennessee2
3LubbockTexas2
3Virginia BeachVirginia2
3Lake DeltonWisconsin2

Which state had the most drunk-driving deaths?

When it comes to drunk drivers, Texas tops the list at 17 alcohol-related road fatalities over the holiday weekend in 2019. Florida follows with 10 alcohol-related deaths. These two states made up 36% of the drunk driving deaths for Valentine’s Day weekend in 2019.

RankStateNumber of drunk-driving deaths
1Texas17
2Florida10
3California8
4Arizona6
4Virginia6
5Ohio5
6Louisiana4
6Michigan4
6Tennessee4

What time of day was the deadliest for driving on Valentine’s Day weekend?

If you’re on the road over Valentine’s Day weekend, you might want to do so earlier in the day. Only 21% of fatal accidents occurred between the hours of 5 a.m. and noon over the holiday weekend in 2019. Compare that number to driving in the afternoon and evening (between noon and 8 p.m.), which accounts for 41% of road deaths each year.

Time of dayDeaths% of total deaths
Morning6521%
Afternoon/evening12841%
Night12038%

How many of these deaths were alcohol-related?

It may not surprise you that half of the deaths occurring at night over Valentine’s Day weekend were related to drunk-driving. Drunk driving deaths are more than six times more likely to occur at night, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., than in the morning.

Time of dayDrunk-driving deaths% of deaths in time frame
Morning914%
Afternoon/evening2217%
Night6050%

Valentine’s Day driving fatalities over 10 years

Road fatalities for this holiday over the past 10 years don’t hold a steady increase over the years. However, up until 2019, the previous four years hold the top four rankings for the most road fatalities on Valentine’s Day. And, 2011 saw the least amount of road deaths with 63 driving fatalities.

RankYearValentine’s Day road death over 10 years
1201597
2201694
3201781
4201878
5201073
5201473
6201371
7201266
7201966
8201163

Which Valentine’s Day is the deadliest?

Over the span of 10 years, Sunday Valentine’s Days prove to be the most deadly day to be on the road with 120 road fatalities. Saturday Valentine’s Days take second place for the most dangerous driving day, with 97 deaths. Some days over the past 10 years have seen Valentine’s Day twice, for those days we averaged the number of deaths for both years on that day to determine the deadliest days.

RankDayValentine’s Day road death over 10 years
1Sunday120
2Saturday97
3Wednesday78
4Tuesday74
5Friday73
6Thursday69
7Monday63

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.

Methodology

We analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for 2019 to determine the states and cities most deadly for Valentine’s Day weekend in 2019. Valentine’s Day weekend for 2019 includes February 14 through February 17. For the purpose of our study, we removed data without corresponding ZIP codes. To analyze Valentine’s Day driving fatalities over time, we pulled data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the years between 2010 and 2019.

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