Traffic records dating back 30 years continually list July 4 as the deadliest day to travel on our roadways, the Insurance Council of Texas reports.
With July 4 landing on a Saturday this year, the mix of summer travel, the weekend, a holiday and alcohol could once again make for a deadly combination.
“We urge motorists to use extreme caution while traveling over the fourth of July this year,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas. “Driving sober, defensively and friendly could save your life as well as the lives of others.”
While the number of fatal traffic mishaps has been steadily declining for many years nationwide, Texas traffic fatalities have actually increased the past two years. A healthy economy and a booming population growth have been cited for the increase.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has analyzed every day of the year and found July 4 to be the deadliest day to travel by far. To make this year worse, July 4 falls on a Saturday and the IIHS says Saturdays are the deadliest day of the week.
“July 4 is a particularly deadly day, mainly because it’s a big travel day,” said Anne McCartt, senior vice president for Research at IIHS. With more drivers on the road, there are more crashes. It’s also a day for picnics, barbeques and fireworks displays, which sometimes involve alcohol. Independence Day has a high proportion of fatal crashes involving impaired drivers than a typical summer day. The best advice to stay safe is to follow common sense: Don’t drink and drive, wear your safety belt for every trip and always obey the speed limit.”
An earlier IIHS traffic report had July 3 as the second deadliest day to travel. The IIHS now lists July 3 as the 13th deadliest day to travel. On July 3, 1994, 46 people lost their lives on Texas roadways making that date the deadliest day on Texas roadways in Texas history.
The IIHS reports an average of 122 people are killed on the nation’s highways on July 4. March 25 records the fewest deaths on our roadways with an average of 73 traffic fatalities.
Traffic fatalities and serious injuries often play a major part in determining auto insurance rates for various areas of the state.