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Road Dangers Brought on by St. Patrick’s Day

By stladmin on February 10, 2023

Two women celebrate St. Patrick's day with green beer.

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest days of the year for traffic crashes. The patron saint of Ireland is honored on March 17 when individuals wearing green come together in restaurants, bars, and private homes to eat corned beef and cabbage and drink green beer. Drinking and driving, along with walking intoxicated, make this holiday a dangerous time to be on the roads.

St. Patrick’s Day Accident Statistics

Many Americans see St. Paddy’s Day as a time to gather in pubs and bars. In 2020, during the period from 6:00 pm March 16 to 5:59 am March 18, more than a third (36%) of U.S. traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver, as stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). From 2016 to 2020, 287 citizens were killed in drunk driving accidents during the St. Patrick’s Day period. Walking intoxicated is another danger associated with St. Paddy’s Day. In 2020, 30% of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above the legal limit of .08%.

What Are the Main Causes of St. Patrick’s Day Accidents?

Impaired driving and reckless behavior are major contributing factors to the spike in traffic crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Top causes of accidents on or around March 17 include:

  • Drunk driving: Alcohol impairs a driver’s reaction time, judgment, and ability to operate a vehicle safely.
  • Drug-impaired driving: Marijuana and other drugs can impair driving ability as much as alcohol.
  • Speeding: For more than two decades, approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities have involved speeding, as reported by NHTSA. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more likely it is to crash, and the greater the impact of the collision.
  • Distracted driving: It is dangerous to text and drive or engage in any form of driver distraction, particularly on St. Patrick’s Day, when more of the population are drinking, and more pedestrians are crossing the roads.
  • Tailgating: Following too closely is dangerous driving behavior that creates the risk of a rear-end collision.
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals: Drivers who run red lights and stop signs can hit other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians who have the right of way.
  • Unsafe lane changes: Switching lanes without first checking carefully to ensure the lane is clear can result in a deadly crash.

What Can You Do to Stay Safe on the Roads on St. Patrick’s Day?

To help keep yourself and others safe during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday:

  • Don’t drive after drinking any amount of alcohol, and don’t let your friends drink and drive either.
  • If you plan to drink, arrange for a safe ride home. Appoint a designated driver, or call an Uber, a taxi, or a friend for a ride.
  • Never accept a ride from anyone who has been drinking.
  • If you are walking, drink responsibly – don’t overdo it. Try to stay in a group and use extra caution when crossing streets.
  • Buckle up while driving or riding in a vehicle to reduce the risk of serious injuries in case you are hit by a drunk driver.

Do You Need an Attorney?

St. Patrick’s Day is a risky time to be on the roads, whether you are driving, walking, or riding as a passenger. If you have been injured in a traffic crash that was someone else’s fault, your best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve is to have an experienced personal injury lawyer handling your case. Our Gillette car accident attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. have an unbeatable work ethic and a history of success for our clients. We offer a free case strategy session. Call us at (307) 257-7800.

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