July 4th is one of the most dangerous days to drive

As the 4th of July grows closer, it's important for people in Tennessee to know that it is one of the most dangerous days to drive, as it usually sees a spike in drunk driving accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked into the issue, tracking fatal accidents and their causes. What they found was that almost half (42 percent) of the deadly wrecks on the 4th involved at least one driver who was under the influence. The data studied ran all the way from 2005 to 2009, showing consistency.

The only day that had more drunk driving accidents than the 4th was New Year's Day. However, New Year's Day accidents happen a bit differently because people have different schedules. Many of those accidents are very early in the morning, when people are driving home from parties and bars, having celebrated the turning of the year at midnight. On the 4th, more accidents are in the late afternoon and evening, as people are having barbeques, spending the day outside and watching the fireworks at dusk.

One thing that factors into the number of accidents is whether or not the holiday comes with a long weekend. If the 4th is on Friday, for instance, most people don't have to work the next day, so they'll party a bit harder than if it was in the middle of the week. This can lead to a higher number of accidents.

Be careful over the 4th this year, and if you are involved in an accident with an impaired driver, be sure you know your rights.

Source: Recovery Ranch, "The Worst Days of the Year for Drunk Driving," accessed June 25, 2015

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