The Most Dangerous Roads on the Fourth of July

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6/4/2024

If the holiday is anything like last year, more than 50 million Americans will travel this Fourth of July. Unfortunately, the Fourth of July is the most dangerous holiday for driving in the country.

Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, researchers at TruckInfo.net discovered a few worrying trends for travelers.

July 4th is the most dangerous holiday for driving

Over the past 20 years, more driving fatalities have occurred on the Fourth of July than any other federal holiday.

What day of the week July 4th falls on impacts how dangerous the roads are

When the Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday, there is a 63% increase in driving fatalities compared to the typical Tuesday. Luckily, this year the holiday falls on a Thursday – which historically has the fewest driving fatalities of any day of the week.

Drunk driving is a major issue on the Fourth of July

Driving fatalities were 44% more likely to be caused by drunk driving on the Fourth of July in 2022 than other Mondays (the day the Fourth of July fell on). Speeding and distracted driving were also more common.

Many of the most dangerous roads on the Fourth of July are in small counties

Typically large counties have more driving fatalities. However, on the Fourth of July, seven of the most dangerous eleven roadways were in counties with populations under 150k.

Roadway County, State Fatalities Population
US-26 Bonneville County, ID 6 129,543
SR-50 W Yankton County, SD 5 23,412
BIA-12 Mckinley County, NM 5 69,931
SR-B Cass County, MO 5 110,357
SR-V Newton County, MO 4 60,096
CARTER Bay County, MI 4 102,638
SR-3 PARKS HWY Matanuska-Susitna County, AK 4 113,472
I-95 Brevard County, FL 4 630,707
CR-21 Suffolk County, NY 4 1,527,974
DREW ST Tarrant County, TX 4 2,155,646
SR-43 (HARLEM) Cook County, IL 4 5,111,566

The 10 most dangerous counties on the Fourth of July

Over the last 20 years, the following counties have seen the most driving fatalities on the Fourth of July.

Los Angeles County, CA

1. Los Angeles County, CA

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 65
  • Population: 9,719,765

Harris County, TX

2. Harris County, TX

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 30
  • Population: 4,781,337

Maricopa County, AZ

3. Maricopa County, AZ

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 28
  • Population: 4,555,833

Dallas County, TX

4. Dallas County, TX

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 26
  • Population: 2,601,993

Cook County, IL

5. Cook County, IL

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 26
  • Population: 5,111,566

Wayne County, MI

6. Wayne County, MI

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 21
  • Population: 1,758,942

Miami-Dade County, FL

7. Miami-Dade County, FL

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 21
  • Population: 2,673,056

San Diego County, CA

8. San Diego County, CA

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 21
  • Population: 3,277,176

San Bernardino County, CA

9. San Bernadino County, CA

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 19
  • Population: 2,194,908

Riverside County, CA

10. Riverside County, CA

  • 4th of July Driving Fatalities: 18
  • Population: 2,474,241

Full Data

Methodology

Fatal accident statistics were sourced from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2003 through 2022. Population data was sourced from the US Census Bureau. Large counties were defined as those with populations greater than 500k, mid-size counties as those with populations between 150k-500k, and small counties as those with a population under 150k.

About the Author
Kyle Fretwell of TruckInfo.net
Kyle Fretwell has worked as a researcher and data journalist for over a decade. His work has appeared in publications such as Bloomberg, Fox Business, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, and the Houston Chronicle.

He now manages TruckInfo.net's content team and is a regular fixture at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

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