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July Fourth tops all US holidays in number of DUI fatalities

Drunk driving becomes prominent during the holidays, but some special days are more dangerous than others. Pennsylvania residents may have heard AAA call the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day "the 100 deadliest days of summer." In the middle of that is the Fourth of July, which is by far the worst holiday when it comes to drunk driving fatalities.

The data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can speak for itself. NHTSA researchers have reported 1,192 DUI-related deaths on the Fourth of July between 2010 and 2017. In that same time frame, there were 1,105 deaths on Memorial Day, making this the second deadliest holiday. The DUI fatality rate comes to 42.4 per day for Independence Day and 39.5 for Memorial Day.

In 2017, the risk for a DUI fatality rose 57% on the Fourth of July compared to an equivalent summer day. The Fourth of July weekend that year ended with 184 fatalities. An equivalent period of summer days would end in an average of 117 deaths.

The DUI fatality rate will vary depending on what day the Fourth of July occurs on. Despite what some believe, weekdays are particularly risky. The fatality rate for a weekday Independence Day was measured to be 43.4, which is 20% higher than the weekend average of 36.3. Wednesday is the worst with a rate of 52.

Unfortunately, an innocent motorist could get injured in a car accident with a drunk driver. In such cases, there may be good grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Pennsylvania allows plaintiffs to recover damages as long as they are less to blame than the defendant. Any degree of contributory negligence, however, will naturally lower the amount they receive. To ensure a fair amount, a victim may want a lawyer by their side at the negotiation table.

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