Fourth of July celebrations lead to many cases of drunk driving in Pennsylvania. Independence Day is, in fact, the worst holiday for drunk driving fatalities according to data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The DUI fatality rate comes to 42.4 people per day while the second deadliest holiday, Memorial Day, has a rate of 39.5. The winter holidays have lower rates with Thanksgiving at 27.9 and Christmas at 27.7.
Between 2010 and 2017, there were 1,192 DUI-related deaths on the Fourth of July. Memorial Day saw 1,102 deaths during that same period. The Fourth of July was also more dangerous on the weekdays with a DUI fatality rate of 43.4. If the holiday fell on the weekend, that rate went down to 36.3. Wednesday was the single riskiest day with a fatality rate of 52.
Summer is notorious for heightening DUI crash risk with AAA referring to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 deadliest days of summer.” But the Fourth of July raises one’s risk for dying in a DUI crash by as much as 57%. Whereas 184 people died in DUI crashes on the Fourth of July weekend in 2017, the equivalent span of five summer days that year resulted in 117 deaths on average.
When drunk driving is a factor in a car accident, victims may be able to seek compensatory damages from the drunk driver’s auto insurance company. In this state, plaintiffs can recover damages as long as they are less to blame than the defendant. Still, it may be a good idea to hire a lawyer because insurance companies will likely have their own legal team fighting to deny the claim. Victims may have their lawyer by their side at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.