One of the things that the government does best is collect data. Yet, the collection of raw data serves little purpose unless knowledgeable people utilize it for a broader purpose. Recently, MoneyGeek put some raw data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to good use. Specifically, it analyzed the five most recent years’ worth of DUI crash fatality statistics from the NHTSA’s FARS database to determine on which days and during which seasons road travelers are most likely to be killed in an impaired driving accident.
Much like the raw data itself, MoneyGeek’s conclusions are of little use if motorists, truck operators, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians do not use this knowledge to inform their actions. However, such analysis is undertaken largely in the hopes that some safety-conscious individuals and companies will use it to inform their actions and to keep everyone a little safer in the years to come.
What Do the Numbers Say?
As an experienced Fairfax DWI lawyer – including those who practice at May Law, LLP – can confirm, it is all too easy to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking because individuals are notoriously bad at judging whether they’re “sober enough” to drive safely. Most drunk drivers aren’t malicious or even reckless. They simply believe that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit when it has not yet reached that critical threshold.
According to the NHTSA data – as interpreted by MoneyGeek – the summer, and specifically Independence Day week – is the deadliest time of the year when it comes to DUI-related fatalities. This means that those who want to remain safer when traveling – and those who do not want to be arrested for an unintentional DUI during a time when an increased law enforcement presence will surely be felt on the nation’s roads – it is important to be particularly careful during Independence Week specifically and the summer more generally.
Are Any Other Days and Seasons Particularly Hazardous?
It is additionally worth noting that six out of every 10 DUI-related fatalities occur on weekends, according to the NHTSA’s data. New Year’s Day is the single deadliest day of the year, as fatality rates spike an astonishing 117% on that one day when compared to the daily DUI-related fatality average on any other given day in the U.S. It is, therefore, not surprising that law enforcement presence tends to increase dramatically on the nights and very early mornings of most weekends and of New Year’s weekend in particular.
It is worth repeating that drunk driving is far easier than one might expect it to be. Oftentimes, individuals who have had a drink or two while out with friends feel perfectly capable of driving home only to discover that they’re failing a breath test and being arrested for conduct that is judged harshly in U.S. society. To stay safer – and to keep your criminal record cleaner – be particularly careful when drinking, traveling, or both on these especially deadly days on the calendar.