The major holidays always lead to more drunk drivers on the road in North Carolina and across the U.S. Many of these drunk drivers get into crashes, and some of these crashes can be fatal. According to data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the most DUI fatalities occur on the Fourth of July with 1,192 people dying on that holiday between 2010 and 2017.
During those same eight years, 1,105 people died in DUI crashes on Memorial Day, making this the second deadliest holiday. The third was Labor Day, followed by New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The DUI fatality rate for the Fourth of July came to 42.4 people per day. That of Thanksgiving and Christmas were, respectively, 27.9 and 27.7.
The summer season sees higher numbers of drunk drivers, but even compared to the average summer day, the Fourth of July is dangerous. In 2017, for example, 184 people died in DUI crashes on the Fourth of July weekend. Taking an equivalent period of four to five summer days, the number of DUI fatalities came to 117 on average.
The risk for a fatal DUI crash goes up when Independence Day falls on a weekday, particularly Wednesday. The fatality rate is 52 for that day, whereas Saturday has a rate of 36.3.
When drunk driving is behind a non-fatal motor vehicle accident, victims may be able to seek compensation from the guilty driver’s auto insurance company. In North Carolina, though, victims are barred from recovering damages if they contribute to the accident. A victim may want a lawyer to evaluate his or her case and ensure that it holds up under this rigorous standard. They may then have their lawyer negotiate on their behalf for a settlement covering medical expenses, lost wages and more.