The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety cautions that summer driving is often deadly.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has cautioned drivers about the dangers of 4th of July accidents. In fact, its data shows there are more car crashes on Independence Day than any other day of the year.
The IIHS has based this information on fatal crash data from the last five years.
The largest contributors to 4th of July accidents are motorcycles and alcohol, says the IIHS. The institute’s five year study determined that every year on that date, there are an average of 118.4 deaths as a result of vehicle crashes. This consistently makes it the most deadliest day on the roads every year.
The study also showed that this holiday is also the deadliest day of the year specifically for motorcyclists. Of the average deaths from crashes on Independence Day roads, 26 of them are motorcyclists each year. Comparatively, passenger vehicle deaths specifically spike on New Year’s Day, with the average being 86 per year on that day.
Alcohol is a serious factor contributing to more deaths resulting from 4th of July accidents.
Forty-seven percent of road deaths occurring on Independence Day, and 62 percent of deaths from crashes on New Year’s Day involve alcohol use. Across both days during the years studied by the IIHS, 35 percent of vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian deaths from crashes involved alcohol of at least 0.08g/dL.
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“Traveling on a major holiday is risky for many reasons,” said IIHS vice president for research and statistical services, Chuck Farmer. “In general, there are more people on the roads, and drivers may be navigating areas beyond their regular commuting routes. There’s a high incidence of alcohol use, which sharply raises the risk of crashing.”
Farmer also pointed out that it is very important for motorcyclists to take great care. They are at a heightened risk. Therefore, “wearing a regulation helmet is always a good choice even in states where they aren’t required,” as reported by the Augusta Free Press.
The data used for the IIHS study on 4th of July accidents research was from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System. That is the annual census of American road crash fatalities.