holidayHolidays are a time of fun, gratitude, love, and happiness. People plan trips and vacations to spend their holidays with the ones they love. But, unfortunately, car accidents also increase during holiday. For example, around the Christmas holidays in 2020, more than 3000 traffic-related fatalities were recorded in the U.S. To learn more about why car accidents are common during holidays and what holidays cause the most car accidents, continue reading. 

Why are Car Accidents Common During the Holidays? 

There are many reasons why car accidents can spike during the holidays, including more traffic on the road due to holiday shopping for gifts and traveling to meet friends and family. According to robertslawfirm.net/orange-county-personal-injury-attorney/car-accidents/, there is also an increase in alcohol consumption during holidays, which can lead to more accidents involving driving under the influence. In 2018, the rate of impaired driving-related fatalities increased by 37% during the holidays from 29% the rest of the year. 

Weather conditions can also contribute to car accidents during certain holidays in the winter season, especially for regions that get snow. The roads can be slick and slippery, posing a threat to all motor vehicles. In addition, thousands of people are injured each year during the holiday season on the roads of the U.S. due to driver distraction, such as using a cell phone when driving. With so much happening during holidays and so much to think about, it is not surprising that driver distraction increases during such times. 

Another reason car accidents are common during holidays is that many people take time off work and are on the road more often than normal. This adds to congestion on the road, increasing the chances of car accidents during peak times. There is also a larger number of tourists who may not be familiar with local driving conditions. All these factors contribute to the rise of car accidents during the holiday season. 

Holidays that Cause Most Car Accidents: 

The following are the holidays with the most car accidents: 

Memorial Day 

Memorial Day is known for being the deadliest holiday to drive across the U.S. In 2020, around 400 traffic-related fatalities occurred on Memorial Day. A high percentage of these crashes involved drunk motorists, making impaired driving the leading cause of traffic incidents on Memorial Day.   

Labor Day 

Labor Day comes at the end of the summer when families often plan road trips and vacations before school reopens. In recent years, approximately 12.5% of car accident fatalities have occurred on Labor Day. It comes second to Memorial Day on the list of the deadliest holidays to drive because, in 2021, more than 466 fatal accidents occurred on this holiday.   

Fourth of July 

Independence Day has been one of the deadliest for motorists to drive in the last decade. Approximately 2743 traffic-related deaths have occurred on Independence Day annually. According to research, 193 motorists died on the fourth of July in 2018.   


According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 333 car accident fatalities occurred during Thanksgiving 2020. Intoxicated drivers caused a significant percentage of traffic fatalities. 

New Year Holidays 

On New Year’s, many people attend parties with a lot of alcoholic drinks, which is why New Year’s Eve and Day have the highest percentage of traffic-related deaths caused by alcohol-impaired driving. More than 49% of intoxicated motorists caused fatal accidents on New Year’s in 2020.  

How To Stay Safe When Driving During The Holidays 

  • Avoid Impaired Driving: Alcohol contributes to the most traffic-related deaths during the holidays. Ensure not to let yourself or your friends and family drive while they are intoxicated. Make transportation arrangements beforehand if you plan on drinking. 
  • Keep Your Eyes on the Road: A high percentage of fatal accidents during holidays stem from driver distraction. The best way to keep yourself safe is to be aware of your surroundings and avoid using the phone when behind the wheel. 
  • Check the Weather Beforehand: Winter holidays can be hazardous for motorists. If you plan on going on a trip for a holiday, check the weather before heading out. 
  • Plan Your Route: The roads can be busy during the holidays, and the best way to avoid any holiday stress and accidents is to plan your route before embarking on the trip. 
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Keep up with all required vehicle maintenance to ensure your vehicle is not the reason for any accidents. 


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