New Year’s Eve is widely considered one of the heaviest drinking holidays in the United States. While more and more Americans are choosing to ring in the New Year at home, millions of people still celebrate by going out to bars and clubs or attending holiday events.
At Cannon & Dunphy S.C., we are concerned about road safety, especially during the holidays. We wanted to find out when and where the most fatal crashes occur during the New Year Holiday. So, we worked with data visualization and consumer safety advocacy firm, Safer America, to analyze five years of NHTSA fatal crash data.
We isolated all deadly crashes that occurred on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 2013 (New Year’s Eve 2013 / New Years Day 2014) to 2018 (New Year’s Eve 2017 / New Years Day 2018).
During our study period, we found that over 1,000 people were killed in fatal collisions across the United States on New Year’s Eve or Day. In fact, there were:
Which states had the most fatal crashes? Raw totals don’t tell the whole story, so we calculated a crash rate based on the number of licensed drivers in each state.
In terms of total crashes, Texas (188), Florida (167) and California (154) had by far the highest number. However, these three states are also the states with the highest population. When looking at fatal crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers, the safest and most dangerous states were much different.
The five states with the highest crash rates (most dangerous states) were:
The five states with the lowest crash rates (safest states) were:
*Crash rates are expressed per 100,000 licensed drivers in each state.
|Rank||State||Fatal Crashes||Fatalities||Drunk Driver Crashes||Drunk Driver Fatalities||Crashes Per 100k Licensed Drivers|
|43||District Of Columbia||2||2||0||0||0.41|
At the county level, the top of the list is dominated by some of the largest counties in the United States. Interestingly, every county in the top ten was found in either California, Texas or Florida.
Without a doubt, the hours between 1 am and 3 am are the most dangerous during the New Year’s holiday. These hours were numbers 1 and 2 for total fatal crash and fatal crashes involving a drunk driver. Interestingly, fatal crashes drop significantly during the midnight to 1 am, as people everywhere likely stay where they are to count down.
It is clear that there is a significant fatal crash risk associated with the New Year’s holiday. So what can motorists and party-goers do to protect themselves?
We encourage everyone to celebrate and enjoy themselves ringing in the new year. We hope that seeing the numbers and understanding the risk helps people make the decision to celebrate safely.