According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data published by Autoevolution, July 4th is the deadliest day of the year for drivers in the United States. Over a five year period from 2004 to 2008, an average of 148 drivers were killed on July 4th, compared to an average of 114 traffic deaths on a typical day. The IIHS didn’t go on to speculate on why this was the case, but it’s likely got to do with increased traffic (summer vacations, July 4th barbecues, etc.) and drinking at holiday parties. As you’d expect, January 1 is another date with higher than average fatalities, but so are August 13 and July 15. Go figure.
As for general risk, male drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 have a death rate of 35.4 per 100,000 population. The age category for females at highest risk is 16 to 19, with a death rate of 13.6 per 100,000. While July 4th may be the deadliest day, August remains the deadliest month, accounting for 10% of the annual traffic fatalities. Fifty-one percent of fatal crashes occur on weekends, with the highest number happening on Saturdays. The majority of fatal crashes occur between 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
Bottom line? If you’re a male between the ages of 20 and 24, you may want to limit your driving on weekends between 3:00 and 9:00 pm. Since that won’t happen, the next best thing is to drive aware and don’t drive drunk. Especially on July 4th, or anytime in August.