Proceed with Care: Drunk Driving Accidents in the Summer

summer driving

Summer is the season for barbecues, parties and family vacations. But summer also brings an increased rate of deaths from traffic accidents. In fact, during the summer months, the rate of traffic fatalities doubles due to heavier traffic and alcohol-impaired drivers. Because of the increased number of teen deaths from alcohol-impaired drivers, AAA has dubbed the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 deadliest days.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 1,022 teenagers, about 10 per day, die on the road during this period. Drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 are most at risk during this time, with the number of teen driver deaths climbing 16 percent compared to other times of the year.

The 100 deadliest days are particularly dangerous because more people are on the road visiting family and going on vacation. To add in another factor, lower gasoline prices encourage even more people to drive. Another factor is that three major drinking holidays— Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day— occur during the 100 days, causing a three-time spike in drunk drivers. And, although AAA focuses on teens, the risk of fatal accidents rises for all demographics during this period.

Fourth of July Drunk Driving Pattern

The Fourth of July ranks as the most dangerous driving day of the year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, traffic accident deaths occur on an average rate of 118.4 on July Fourth, 28 more deaths than the average non-holiday. Alcohol is the primary reason for the rise in fatalities on the Fourth: 47 percent of deaths on July Fourth involved at least one person with a BAC of at least .08 percent. On an average day, only 35 percent of fatal accidents involve alcohol. The Fourth is especially dangerous for teenagers, who account for nearly 10 percent of the fatalities. Here are tips for a safe Fourth of July celebration.

Don’t Forget About Winter Holidays

The second most dangerous time to drive is during the winter holiday season. Because of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, drinking and driving becomes more prevalent during this time of year. New Year’s is especially dangerous, ranking as the second deadliest driving day after the Fourth of July. On January 1, 62 percent of traffic accidents involve someone having a .08 percent BAC or higher.

Any time there are more cars on the road or more people drinking alcohol, driving becomes more dangerous. Drivers should be extra cautious during the summer months and during any holidays that involve alcohol. If you plan on drinking, always have a plan to get home safely. Assign a designated driver or call a cab. Stay home or with the holiday party host to avoid driving. Never get behind the wheel after drinking. Here are delicious non-alcoholic cocktails to consider.

Are You the Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident?

No matter how careful you are, drunk driving accidents are always a possibility, especially during the summer season. If you or a loved one is the victim of a drunk driving accident, South Carolina attorney F. Craig Wilkerson can help. Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation or call us at: