We’re all set for a warm, beautiful Independence Day this year. Thousands of people will gather for the 4th of July events tomorrow. including barbeques and fireworks-watching parties. With the increased activity comes more cars on the roads as people travel to and from their destinations. Sadly, whenever there are more cars on the road combined with holiday drinking, car accidents and traffic fatalities increase. This causes fatality related to motor vehicle traffic. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 619 people may die on U.S. roads in Independence Day period traffic fatalities. In addition, they estimate that 70,600 people will seek medical care for injuries they sustain in crashes over the holiday period.
Fatality Related to Motor Vehicle Traffic on Independence Day
Independence Day is always observed on July 4th. So the Independence Day holiday period varies from 1.25 to 4.25 days in length. It all depends on which day of the week the holiday falls. In 2023, the holiday falls on a Tuesday, so the Independence Day holiday period is 4.25 days and extends from 6 p.m. Friday, June 30 to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 4.
If you or a loved one is injured in an Independence Day accident because of the reckless or negligent behavior of another driver, you are entitled to a car accident settlement. You deserve a settlement that covers your property damage. Also your medical bills, disability, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a fatality occurs, funeral expenses, loss of services and other damages may also be recovered. Please contact a local car accident lawyer who can assess your accident and discuss your legal rights.
How does the NSC calculate the risks of traveling by car over the Independence Day holiday period?
In order to get the most accurate estimate possible, NSC compares their estimated traffic fatalities to actual fatalities each year. Because the holiday varies from 1.25 to 4.25 days long, the number of fatalities during the holiday also fluctuates widely from year to year.
How does NSC reach its traffic fatalities estimate?
While an estimated number is never going to be 100 percent accurate, there is a 90 percent confidence interval for the estimate of traffic deaths for this holiday. While the estimated deaths are 619, this number falls within an estimated range of 515 to 731. Analysts recognize that the confidence interval cannot factor in changes to behavior that began during the pandemic. Unfortunately, reckless driving behaviors such as drunk driving and speeding have increased since 2000.
Factors that increase fatal accidents during the Independence Day period
The biggest factor that contributes to increased traffic fatalities during the Independence Day period is a higher incidence of impaired driving.
In 2021, alcohol-impaired fatalities (involving blood-alcohol content of 0.08 g/dL or higher) represented 31 percent of the total traffic fatalities. During the Independence Day period, 39 percent of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver, one of the highest rates among all the major holidays and eight percentage points higher than the overall rate.
The other major factor that contributes to Independence Day accident fatalities is seat belt usage.
Based on the projected number of vehicle occupants who will wear seat belts, the NSC estimates that 245 lives may be saved this Independence Day holiday period. On top of this, if everyone wore a seat belt another 144 lives could be saved.
What are Independence Day traffic fatalities compared to other holidays?
Overall, Independence Day and other summer holidays (Memorial Day and Labor Day) have higher average fatality rates per day compared to the fall and winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day).
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!