As the nation gets ready to celebrate Labor Day and weary parents send their children back to school, drivers need to be reminded that holidays can be a dangerous time to be on the road.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) collects statistics about car crashes across the state, and has information available publicly on their website. Comparing data from year to year allows law enforcement officials to follow trends in driving accidents, and keep on top of potential problems.
Data about holiday weekend accidents is collected because over time holidays have proven to be more dangerous for drivers than other times of the year. What’s interesting is that one holiday isn’t always the most dangerous; they tend to switch places each year.
For example, in 2007 Labor Day weekend had 22 traffic accident fatalities, more than any of the other holiday weekends. However, last year Memorial weekend was the most dangerous, with 18 fatalities.
Here are the fatality statistics for 2008 holiday weekends, from most dangerous to the least:
- Memorial weekend (4 days long) – 18 fatalities
- Thanksgiving weekend (5 days long) – 12 fatalities
- Fourth of July weekend (4 days long) – 10 fatalities
- Labor Day weekend (4 days long) – 7 fatalities
- Christmas weekend (5 days long) – 6 fatalities
- New Years Day weekend (4 days long) – 5 fatalities
Drive safely this upcoming Labor Day weekend!