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Independence Day: worst holiday for DUI fatalities

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that Independence Day is the worst US holiday for drunk driving crash fatalities. There were 1,192 such fatalities between 2010 and 2017 while Memorial Day, which came in second, saw 1,105 fatalities. Tennessee residents should know that the overall DUI fatality rate for the Fourth of July is 42.4. That is, 42.4 fatalities per day.

The DUI fatality rate for an equivalent summer day was calculated to be 26.1 per day, which is more than a 50% difference. In terms of fatality numbers, the case becomes even clearer. In 2017, for example, there were 184 DUI deaths during the Fourth of July weekend. By comparison, there were an average of 117 deaths in any given period of four to five equivalent summer days.

When the Fourth of July occurs on a weekend, the fatality rate is relatively low. Saturday is the safest day with a rate of 36.3 fatalities per day, but Wednesday is the worst with a rate of 52. This is based on data for the years 2012 to 2017.

Drunk driving can lead to fines and a 90-day suspension of one's license. First-time offenders may even face jail time for up to one year. Their auto insurance rates are also sure to increase.

Drunk drivers will be held liable for the car accidents they cause, though other parties may have contributed through negligent actions of their own. This will complicate matters for victims who wish to file a personal injury claim. In Tennessee, someone can recover damages if he or she is deemed less than 50% at fault. Any degree of fault will make it harder to receive a fair settlement, so victims may want to hire a lawyer for advice and guidance.

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