Traffic on a Berkley, California highway in 2015. Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you’re getting ready to travel for the fast-approaching three-day weekend, maybe it’s time to reconsider: A new study found that you’re way more likely to die in a car crash on Memorial Day weekend than any other holiday weekend. Trailing not far behind Memorial Day, oddly, is Labor Day.

A study by personal-finance website ValuePenguin studied statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see which holiday weekends are the most dangerous for commuters, and Memorial Day—not a notorious drinking holiday like New Year’s Eve—led the way among deadliest major U.S. holidays.

Advertisement

ValuePenguin counted a fatal car crash as one in which at least one person died, so keep in mind that these numbers aren’t the total fatalities—just wrecks that involved a fatality. Between 2011 and 2015, Memorial Day weekend averaged 312 fatal wrecks each year. The Labor Day and Fourth of July weekends were right behind, with 308 and 307 fatal crashes on average, respectively. Here’s a nice, cheery graphic from the website to illustrate it all:

Image via ValuePenguin

Something that could be skewing the New Year’s numbers in this data is the fact that it’s a holiday that doesn’t always fall on a weekend, which is the period of time being studied here. Depending on how far removed the actual holiday was from its studied weekend, the number of factors influencing fatal wrecks could be higher or lower.

But that didn’t seem to affect the Fourth of July, so, you know, who knows.

Also, it’s pretty weird that Easter—yes, Easter—came in third. If you’re going to celebrate it, maybe stick to the candy and colored eggs in the future rather than a couple of rum and cokes.

But like it did in total fatal crashes, Memorial Day leads in drunk-driving fatal wrecks as well. If you’re planning to hop in your car next weekend, be safe out there. Your life is more important than getting to your holiday destination.

Advertisement