The Most Dangerous Holidays

Many Texas travel over the holidays. Many also tend to consume alcohol during the festivities. Unfortunately, these factors contribute to high rates of motor vehicle accidents and similar incidents during the holidays.

What holiday is the deadliest traffic day? What is the most dangerous holiday to drive in the U.S.? Let’s explore the answers to these questions in detail.

The Deadliest Holidays for U.S. Travelers: What You Need to Know

The National Safety Council (NSC) tracks holiday accident statistics to determine which holiday has the most deaths and which holidays tend to involve high rates of accidents. Instead of limiting the focus to single days, the NSC studies entire holiday periods during which people may be traveling and celebrating.

For example, the holiday period for Thanksgiving typically begins the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and ends the following Sunday evening. Per the NSC, accidents occurring during this period may qualify as Thanksgiving accidents.

The NSC estimated the following to be the most dangerous holidays in the U.S. in 2023.

New Year’s

New Year’s is a holiday many associate with alcohol consumption and staying out late. It’s not uncommon for intoxicated or sleep-deprived motorists to be on the road during this period. The NSC estimated that the 2023 New Year’s holiday period would see 408 fatalities among motorists on U.S. roads.

Memorial Day

The NSC estimated that approximately 469 people would die in motor vehicle accidents during the 2023 Memorial Day period. Because the NSC bases its estimates on past trends, there may be several reasons the NSC predicted a higher fatality rate for Memorial Day than New Year’s.

For example, research available through the National Library of Medicine indicates motor vehicle accidents may be more common during warmer times of the year. Such findings might explain why traffic fatalities are more common during the Memorial Day holiday period.

Independence Day

Independence Day is another American holiday in which people travel and drink during what is typically one of the warmest months of the year. The NSC thus estimated that 619 people would lose their lives on American roads during the 2023 Independence Day period.

Labor Day

Labor Day may be among the most dangerous holidays in the U.S. because it arrives at the end of summer. For the 2023 Labor Day holiday period, the NSC predicted 455 deaths.


The NSC estimated that approximately 507 people would lose their lives in traffic accidents during the 2023 Thanksgiving holiday period. The NSC points out that many Thanksgiving accidents occur because so many opt for car travel during holiday seasons. Americans could thus protect themselves and others by choosing other methods of travel when they’re available.


The Most Dangerous Holidays

NSC estimates for the 2023 Christmas holiday period are currently unavailable. For the 2022 Christmas holiday period, the NSC estimated approximately 346 Americans would die in motor vehicle crashes.

The Christmas holiday period is an example of a holiday period that can vary in length from year to year. In some years, the period is as short as 1.25 days in length. In other years, the Christmas period is 4.25 days long. How long the Christmas holiday period is in a given year depends on what day of the week the holiday falls on. A Christmas that falls on a Tuesday or Thursday would create the longest Christmas period – and the longer the holiday, the greater the number of accidents.

Staying Safe During the Most Dangerous Holidays

It may not be practical to avoid travel altogether during the holidays. That said, you can reduce the chance of being in a travel-related accident by taking the following steps:

  • Brush up on defensive driving maneuvers, as traffic is likely to be heavy
  • Never drink and drive
  • Don’t drive while drowsy
  • Minimize distractions while behind the wheel
  • Try to avoid driving late at night and in the early morning
  • Check weather forecasts for the areas in which you’ll be driving
  • Plan alternate routes, particularly if they help you avoid areas of heavy traffic
  • Remain calm and avoid the impulse to give in to road rage

Unfortunately, no amount of planning ahead and defensive driving can protect you entirely from careless, negligent, or reckless motorists. If you’re in an accident this holiday season, you deserve compensation from the person who caused it, which involves filing a claim with their insurance provider and providing the company with evidence of its policyholder’s negligence.

These are tasks our Texas car accident attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury can handle on your behalf. Our team’s assistance will give you more time to focus on your recovery. Call us today at 512-580-8334 or contact us online for a free case review.

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