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Holidays – Auto Accidents and Drunk Driving Crash Statistics

Holiday Accidents

Holidays are some of the most deadly and dangerous times to drive. Many more people are driving on the road to visit family and attend parties, and drunk driving accidents increase.

The following include both national and Pennsylvania statistics for accidents during holiday periods and holiday accidents involving alcohol.

Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics - 2012 Holiday Statistics

Total Pennsylvania Holiday Crashes

Holiday Crashes Deaths
New Year's 766 5
Post-New Year's 889 9
Pre-Memorial Day 1,112 14
Memorial Day 954 16
Post-Memorial Day 1,133 16
Pre-Independence Day 379 13
Independence Day 342 2
Post-Independence Day 365 7
Pre-Labor Day 1,018 7
Labor Day 972 15
Post-Labor Day 1,087 14
Pre-Thanksgiving 1,497 18
Thanksgiving 1,433 18
Post-Thanksgiving 1,368 17
Pre-Christmas 426 2
Christmas 392 5

Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics - 2011 Holiday Statistics

Total Pennsylvania Holiday Crashes

Holiday Crashes Deaths
New Year's 486 8
Post-New Year's 1750 5
Pre-Memorial Day 1073 14
Memorial Day 948 20
Post-Memorial Day 1032 13
Pre-Independence Day 989 13
Independence Day 891 14
Post-Independence Day 980 23
Pre-Labor Day 1019 10
Labor Day 1046 17
Post-Labor Day 922 11
Pre-Thanksgiving 1484 13
Thanksgiving 1232 19
Post-Thanksgiving 1487 17
Pre-Christmas 1388 14
Christmas 825 7

Pennsylvania Alcohol-Related Crashes

In 2011, 13 percent of all holiday accidents involved alcohol. 41 percent of deaths that occurred during holiday weekends were related to alcohol use.

Holiday Crashes Deaths
New Year's 112 7
Post-New Year's 142 2
Pre-Memorial Day 112 3
Memorial Day 143 10
Post-Memorial Day 130 5
Pre-Independence Day 141 3
Independence Day 146 6
Post-Independence Day 120 6
Pre-Labor Day 119 5
Labor Day 188 8
Post-Labor Day 134 5
Pre-Thanksgiving 158 7
Thanksgiving 180 8
Post-Thanksgiving 181 7
Pre-Christmas 162 6
Christmas 126 2

National Car Accident Statistics (2009) – Holidays

Persons Killed and Percent Alcohol-Impaired During Holidays

New Year's Day

Year Number of People Killed Percent Alcohol-Impaired Driving
2005 472 38
2006 456 42
2007 391 40
2008 424 41
2009 468 40

Memorial Day

Year Number of People Killed Percent Alcohol-Impaired Driving
2005 532 39
2006 511 40
2007 492 37
2008 425 41
2009 473 42

Fourth of July

Year Number of People Killed Percent Alcohol-Impaired Driving
2005 591 44
2006 659 37
2007 202 45
2008 494 44
2009 410 40

Labor Day

Year Number of People Killed Percent Alcohol-Impaired Driving
2005 507 40
2006 508 37
2007 520 42
2008 493 40
2009 360 38

Thanksgiving

Year Number of People Killed Percent Alcohol-Impaired Driving
2005 629 37
2006 635 34
2007 553 35
2008 507 35
2009 411 34

Christmas

Year Number of People Killed Percent Alcohol-Impaired Driving
2005 402 40
2006 395 42
2007 478 38
2008 426 32
2009 262 37

Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics - 2010 Holiday Statistics

Total Pennsylvania Holiday Crashes

Holiday Crashes Deaths
New Year's 974 6
Post-New Year's 1096 11
Pre-Memorial Day 1027 8
Memorial Day 962 17
Post-Memorial Day 997 7
Pre-Independence Day 919 19
Independence Day 995 18
Post-Independence Day 1137 13
Pre-Labor Day 1046 23
Labor Day 955 11
Post-Labor Day 1012 17
Pre-Thanksgiving 1425 19
Thanksgiving 1389 24
Post-Thanksgiving 1538 12
Pre-Christmas 1235 20
Christmas 1149 8

Pennsylvania Alcohol-Related Crashes

In 2010, about 14 percent of all holiday accidents involved alcohol. More than half (51 percent) of deaths that occurred during holiday weekends were related to alcohol use.

Holiday Crashes Deaths
New Year's 172 3
Post-New Year's 149 6
Pre-Memorial Day 156 2
Memorial Day 158 11
Post-Memorial Day 125 1
Pre-Independence Day 128 11
Independence Day 161 9
Post-Independence Day 127 9
Pre-Labor Day 137 7
Labor Day 170 5
Post-Labor Day 153 11
Pre-Thanksgiving 180 12
Thanksgiving 189 13
Post-Thanksgiving 166 5
Pre-Christmas 195 10
Christmas 134 3

Pennsylvania Car Accidents - Labor Day 2011

  • Nine people died in Pennsylvania during the Labor Day weekend in 2011.
  • Five accidents were fatal.
  • There were 783 crashes, of which 80 were related to alcohol use.
  • More than 350 (351) were injured.
  • Police arrested 483 people for drunk driving.
  • There were more crashes and injuries than in 2010, and the same number of people died.

2010 Pennsylvania Accident Statistics - Thanksgiving and Christmas

  • In 2010, 55 people died in car accidents in Pennsylvania during the weekends before and after Thanksgiving. This time period had the highest rate of crashes throughout the year.
  • Of the crashes that occurred during the weekends before and after Thanksgiving, 535 accidents involved alcohol.
  • The number of alcohol-related crashes surrounding Thanksgiving accounted for 22 percent of the total number of crashes involving alcohol in 2010.
  • There were 2,035 crashes and 19 deaths in 2010 during the Christmas and New Year's travel periods.

Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.

Sources: "Traffic Safety Facts." U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2009.
"Pennsylvania Crash Facts & Statistics." Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 2010.
"PennDOT, Police Start "Operation Safe Holiday." The Pitt News. November 21, 2011.
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