Highest DUI fatality rates linked with Fourth of July

Summer always seems to be a bad time for drunk driving in Virginia and elsewhere around the country. On an average summer day in the US, 26 people are killed in DUI-related crashes. It gets worse on the major holidays, though. For example, during the Independence Day weekend in 2017, 184 people died in DUI crashes. In a comparable period of four or five days in the summer, that number came to around 117.

According to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which is run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July Fourth is the deadliest holiday involving drunk drivers. From 2010 to 2017, a total of 1,192 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes. Memorial Day came in second with 1,105 deaths. The fatality rate for Independence Day was 42.4 (that is, 42.4 deaths per day). Thanksgiving and Christmas saw the lowest rate: 27.9 and 27.7 respectively.

The rate varies according to the day on which the Fourth of July falls. It is calculated to be 43.4 when the holiday falls on a weekday and 36.3 when the holiday falls on the weekend. A Wednesday Fourth of July is considered the worst. The fatality rate jumps to 52. Monday is the second-worst with 45.6. Therefore, drivers should be cautious whenever they go on long trips during this holiday.

Those who are injured in a car accident and discover that the other driver was drunk may want to seek compensation from that person’s auto insurance company. Virginia is an at-fault state, but at the same time, it bars recovery when plaintiffs contribute so much as 1% to a crash. Victims may want to bring their personal injury case to an attorney for evaluation. If the grounds are good, a lawyer may go on to build the case up with investigators.