4th of July travel: When’s the safest time to drive?

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Certain times of day are more prone to car accidents, and the Fourth of July is no exception.

Jerry Car Insurance analyzed fatal car crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau to determine which states are the “deadliest” for holiday drivers.

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From 2006 to 2020, there were 5,704 fatal car crashes in the U.S. over the Fourth of July week.

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California, Texas and Florida were found to have the highest total number of road accident deaths between July 1 and July 8, at 532 deaths, 524 deaths and 405 deaths, respectively.

Is travel safety important to you? Here are the ‘deadliest’ times to drive during the 4th of July and when it’s safest, according to fatal crash data analyzed by Jerry Car Insurance.
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Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina, on the other hand, were found to have the most per capita, at 19.9 per 100,000 people, 17.2 per 100,000 people and 13 per 100,000 people, respectively.

Drunk driving and speeding were the leading cause of death for Fourth of July drivers.

Fatal crash causes for road vehicles during 4th of July, according to Jerry Car Insurance

In its 14-year analysis, Jerry Car Insurance noted that fatal car crashes due to drunk driving peaked at 65% between the late hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., over the July 1 to July 8 holiday period.

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Fatal car crashes due to speeding peaked at 47% between the hours of 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

“This corresponds with many celebrations wrapping up and drivers heading out onto dark roads,” Jerry Car Insurance wrote in its study.

Driving during the day decreases your chance of driving alongside a drunk driver, Jerry Car Insurance said.

Driving during the day decreases your chance of driving alongside a drunk driver, Jerry Car Insurance said.
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Fatal car crashes on the Fourth of July itself “rose steadily throughout the day” and peaked between 9 and 10 p.m., according to Jerry.

Holiday travelers were less likely to come across drunk drivers on the road earlier in the day. Less than 20% of fatal crashes between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. were caused by drunk driving.

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Drunk driving and speeding fatalities were at their lowest on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

“With 4th of July celebrations usually taking place in the afternoons and evenings, there were likely fewer drivers — and fewer drunk drivers — on the road at this hour,” the insurance company wrote.

About 42 million Americans will travel to 4th of July festivities by car, according to AAA.

About 42 million Americans will travel to 4th of July festivities by car, according to AAA.
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Updated travel stats from AAA predicted there will be 42 million drivers hitting roads across America this year for the Fourth of July.

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The not-for-profit automobile association analyzed traffic data from INRIX – a travel monitoring company – and found that the best times to travel over the Fourth of July weekend are Thursday, before 7 a.m. and after 8 p.m.; Friday, before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m.; and Saturday, before 12 p.m. and after 7 p.m.



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