It should come as no surprise that many deadly accidents take place during holiday times in the United States. There are several reasons that this would be so. For one, many people have the day off of work for federal holidays such as Independence Day, so people who might not otherwise be driving are on the roads. Second, people are apt to travel on holidays to visit with friends or family, so there are lots of people on the road for that reason — many of whom are eager to get to where they are going quickly.

Another reason car accidents are common occurrences on holidays is the high incidence of drinking and driving. Big gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas often lead to people eating and drinking much more than they should; Memorial Day and Labor Day are thought of as the unofficial beginning and end of summer, so people might be inclined to drink more than they otherwise would and then get behind the wheel.

A common accident at these times of year involves drivers running a red light. Being drowsy, buzzed or drunk can dampen reaction times and lead to drivers missing stop signals. An advocacy group recently looked at data from red-light cameras in several states and found that more drivers run red lights on Memorial Day than on any other holiday.

Following behind, in order, were Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Super Bowl Sunday. The last is sort of an unofficial holiday — complete with heavy eating and drinking, of course.

Source: WVLT-TV, “Memorial day weekend ranks highest for red light camera violations, study says,” May 23, 2014