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What is America's most dangerous holiday?

Estimates say nearly 28,000 Americans will be injured on the road this holiday season and more than 25 will die. But neither Christmas nor New Year's is the most dangerous holiday.

By Money Staff Dec 23, 2013 5:37PM

This post comes from Michael B. Sauter and Thomas C. Frohlich at partner site 24/7 Wall Street.

24/7 Wall St. on MSN MoneyAAA estimates that during this Christmas and New Year’s season, nearly 95 million Americans will hit the road, traveling long distances to visit friends and family. Unfortunately, during the end-of-year holiday travel period, nearly 27,900 Americans will be seriously injured in auto accidents, and more than 250 will die.

 

But neither ranks as the most dangerous holiday.

 

Car Accident © Robert J. Bennett/age fotostock)The National Safety Council has released reports estimating the number of traffic accidents and fatalities that occur on major holidays, including Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day.   According to the NSC, the deadliest holiday this year will likely be the Fourth of July, which saw an estimated 540 motorists die during the travel period, which spans roughly four days.

 

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the NSC’s most recent estimates of motor vehicle accidents and casualties for the six big holidays. On our list of the most dangerous holidays, Independence Day ranks first and Memorial Day second, with New Year's Day only fifth and Christmas sixth.

 

Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the NSC, explained that while travel increases during all these major holidays, the number of fatalities doesn’t always jump significantly. “The New Year’s holiday generally results in a significant increase in the number of fatalities when looking at a comparable period in same month," Kolosh noted, but there isn't significant increase on Christmas.

 

One major reason for the difference may be alcohol consumption. A separate report released by the Council this month shows that holidays like New Year’s Day and Independence Day are more likely to see people drink and drive. During the New Year’s period, between 2007 and 2011, an estimated 42% of traffic fatalities were the result of drinking and driving. On Christmas, just 35% of accidents were the result of drinking and driving, less than any of the major six holidays.

 

As might be expected, poor weather is also regularly a factor in the accidents and deaths on the road. However, according to Kolosh, the actual effects of a severe blizzard on a major holiday are not what you might expect. “It’s a little bit counterintuitive, but good weather in winter months actually results in more fatalities,” he said. The reason for this, he explained, is that people are less likely to travel more than absolutely necessary in bad weather.

 

For each holiday, the number of accidents fluctuates each year. In 2012, there were more than 350 fatalities during the Christmas travel period. This year, the National Safety Council estimates there will be just 105. The figure is lower largely because Christmas falls in the middle of the week and the travel period isn’t spread out over a weekend.

 

Traffic accidents and deaths during a holiday are also influenced by how many people actually travel that year. According to Kolosh, the strength of the economy influences the amount of driving Americans do. “Macroeconomic issues such as recessions greatly impact fatalities on the road,” he said. “Recessions actually tend to save lives on the road. We’ve reached some really historic lows during the last recession.”

 

To identify the most dangerous holidays, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the National Safety Council’s estimates for the six holidays it measures of traffic accidents and fatalities occurring during that holiday travel period. All figures for 2013 and 2014 are estimates from the NSF. Travel periods change year-to-year, depending on which day of the week the holiday occurs. The NSC also estimated the proportion of traffic fatalities caused by alcohol consumption. Those figures are based 2007-2011 averages.

 

More from 24/7 Wall St.:

19Comments
Dec 24, 2013 7:32AM
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The most dangerous holiday in the USA is election day.  With each passing one, more and more of the masses willingly give up more and more of their own liberty, because they are too lazy to accept the responsibility that goes along with it.
Dec 24, 2013 12:03AM
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just so you know.... the most dangerous time and place of any holiday is 2am on a highway.

the most dangerous time and place of any week is 2am sunday morning on a highway.


you all be careful out there.

Dec 23, 2013 11:18PM
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     ALL I CAN SAY IS I STAY HOME DURING THE DRINKING HOLIDAYS.  EVEN THE DAY AFTER.
Dec 24, 2013 8:29AM
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I guessed Independence Day since so many screwballs play around with fire works!
Dec 23, 2013 11:55PM
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another thing that puts july 4th a problem is that it occurs in the summer; more heat, more reason to drink, obviously,  but also more reason for people to jump in the water to cool off.... i wonder how many of these deaths come from drowning, either from going in too soon after eating, or while intoxicated.  Being outdoors also puts people in contact with a lot more people(-more chances for conflict.), where during Christmas, indoor activities limit contact with others.
Dec 23, 2013 11:45PM
Dec 24, 2013 11:30AM
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ABRIL    THIS IS FOR YOU

FROM THE BOOK OF  AXELROD
CHAPTER 2
THE BIRTH OF A MESIAH
In those days a decree went out from Washington DC, that the U S A  should be taxed. This was the 1st enrollment when SEBELIUS  was governor of the Affordable Care Act. So all went to be enrolled each to his own Website. And SOROS  went up from Greece to the town of Washington to the City of DC called MONEY BAGS because he was  of the House of the Federal Reserve. Soros  declared we needed a new Messiah. While they were there the time came for DC to give birth to a new  child  a firstborn son.
 He  wrapped him in swaddling clothes and gave him the gift of rhetoric, and babble. He was born in the Holiday Inn because there was no room at the Hilton.
 Now there were CONGRESSMEN in the field keeping watch over their flock. The angel of PELOSI appeared to them and the glory of REID shone upon them and they were struck with great  Fear. Pelosi said unto them to not be afraid , BEHOLD I proclaim to you  great news of joy that will be for all people. For today the city of DC a Savior is born for you who is the Messiah,OBAMA
 This will be assigned to you you will find the anointed one WRAPPED in swaddling clothes and living at  The WHITE House. There was a multitude of heavenly host with Angels saying
 GLORY  be to Obama in the highest
 On earth peace to those to whom his favor rests
THE SHEPHERDS VISIT
  When the Senators went away from them back to DC, the Congressman said to one another  let us go to DC to see this thing which is taking place. So they went in haste and found REID AND PELOSI  the new  born Obama  lying in the Holiday Inn. When they saw this they've made known the message that had been told about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told by the Senators. Then the congressman returned glorifying and praising Obama for all they had heard and seen just as it had been told to them.
 Days later the 3 Kings of the FEDERAL RESERVE  arrived  to pay homage to the new Messiah, they were BERNANKE,YELLEN.AND TARULLO. THEY LAID GREAT GIFTS of Q E  at his feet and proclaimed him to be the One
Dec 24, 2013 12:00PM
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ABRIL

I ENJOY AN OPEN CONVERSATION,,DON'T HIDE POST IN THE OPEN,,BESIDES 

AU CONTRAIRE MON AMI IL SAGIT  DUN SITE LIBERAL,
Dec 24, 2013 3:22PM
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CL: Do you notice you`re usually wrong?
Dec 24, 2013 12:02PM
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WATCHED A SPECIAL ON  ""PUSSY RIOT"" LAST NIGHT 

THERE IS   NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE USA AND RUSSIAN  MEDIA 

LOL          CHANGE WE CANNOT BELIEVE IN
Dec 24, 2013 1:36PM
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CL:I hope you get as much Christmas presents as the trophy wife gets.Next year your

politics will be more intelligent and liberal.That`s my prediction.Happy holidays !

Dec 24, 2013 2:32PM
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I was thinking it was National **** Day , which is every other day in S Ca or every day in the Mid west states & every day on the east coast...lol...go ahead start!
Dec 24, 2013 1:30PM
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ABRIL
VOUS NETES PAS SPEEK FRANÇAIS Vous Navez LOL
VOTRE DECLARATION EST INCORRECT GRAMITICALLY
JAI PENSE liberaux etaient Intellegent ET INTELLECTUELLE LOL

GOOGLE TRANSLATE IS A DEAD GIVE AWAY      LOL         "" C'EST ""
Dec 24, 2013 1:44PM
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YOU PREDICT INCORRECTLY 

2014 WILL BE A REPEAT OF 2010        THE YEAR OF THE  TEA PARTY
Dec 24, 2013 1:52PM
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BRENT 

I AM TOTALLY SHOCKED,,,,I WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT A LIBERAL,LYING, ATHEIST,

NARCISSIST  WOULD CELEBRATE  CHRISTMAS
Dec 24, 2013 11:27AM
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ABRIL WROTE

What is America's most dangerous holiday?


Tea Bagger Day.


YOU CAN ALWAYS DEPEND ON THE LIBERALS

THEY CANNOT KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT OR COMPOSE THEIR FEAR


THEY MANAGE TO TELL YOU WHAT THEY FEAR THE MOST        """TEA PARTY 2014""

Dec 24, 2013 12:45PM
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CL:The long wars are almost over.41 straight months of job growth.Corporate profits at

record levels and a stock market up 8,100 points to record levels.HOP AND CHANGE

WE CAN BELIEVE IN !

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