While numerous studies and frightening statistics are published warning drivers of the dangers of driving during the large, travel-heavy holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, Texas drivers are encouraged to remain safe during the three holidays that generally mark the start, middle and end of summer – Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) compiles annual statistics centering on the number of fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes and fatalities over various holidays. The most recent statistics published are for 2018, and they include numerous statistics, including:
- Memorial Day: As the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is often the long weekend many people consider the start of summer. The period studied in the 2018 survey included Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the long holiday weekend. Over this span, 48 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. The five-day span over Thanksgiving saw 43 traffic fatalities. Additionally, the five-day span over Christmas in 2018 reported 41 fatal traffic accidents.
- Independence Day: As the name would indicate, the Fourth of July is always celebrated on the same day. For the data year 2018, the Fourth fell on a Wednesday. During the period studied – the Tuesday and Wednesday of the holiday – there were 11 crash fatalities. All 11 fatalities occurred on July 4th and none on Tuesday, July 3rd.
- Labor Day: As the first Monday in September, for many people, Labor Day marks the end of summer on their personal calendars. Like Memorial Day, the DOT studied the long weekend of Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Over this holiday weekend, there were 46 traffic fatalities – compared to 43 over Thanksgiving and 41 over Christmas.
While people often equate Thanksgiving and Christmas with dangerously heavy traffic and roads congested with holiday vacationers, more traffic fatalities seem to occur during the summer holidays than their winter counterparts. While no reasons for the accidents are included in the report, the most common reasons for vehicle crashes often fall into the categories of speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving and drowsy driving. If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.