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Is New Year’s Day the most dangerous day to drive in Illinois?

New Year’s Day has a reputation for danger, in large part because of how much people tend to drink. Another factor could be that most people get the day off, so they’re not stuck at work. These things work together to make many drivers think that no day of the year is as dangerous as the first of January. Is this actually true, however?

Interestingly, studies have shown that New Year’s Day is not the most dangerous. One study was done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They looked at data starting in 1986 and running to 2002. What they found was that other holidays actually posed a greater danger.

Over the time period that was studied, there were 2,411 total deaths. This worked out to an average of 142 each day. On July 3, however, there were a total of 2,534 deaths, or an average of 149 each day. Even that wasn’t the very top, though. The holiday that is actually the most dangerous is the Fourth of July. On that day, there were 2,743 total deaths, giving it an average of 161 per day.

Notably, Dec. 23 and Aug. 3 also ranked very highly. On the 23rd of December, there were 2,470 deaths, and on the 3rd of August, there were 2,413. Both had more deaths than New Year’s Day, with averages of 145 and 142, respectively.

Knowing what days are dangerous can help you to avoid tragic accidents, but nothing can guarantee that you will not be involved in one in Illinois. If you are, make sure that you know your legal options.

Source: Snopes, “New Year’s Danger” Jan. 07, 2015