blog home Car Accidents How St. Patrick’s Day Can Cause Havoc on the Roads

How St. Patrick’s Day Can Cause Havoc on the Roads

By Hess & Nghiem on March 15, 2024

While St. Patrick’s Day is a festive time to celebrate all things Irish and green, it can also be a dangerous time to be on the road, particularly at night. After the customary “St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl,” partygoers who can barely walk may be getting behind the wheel to drive home. Needless to say, the massive spike in alcohol consumption during this holiday creates a heightened risk for road-related accidents.

Statistics on St. Patrick’s Day Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called St. Patrick’s Day “one of the deadliest days on our nation’s roads” due to drunk driving. NHTSA also provides these statistics to raise awareness and promote public safety measures:

  • 272 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6:00 p.m. March 16th to 5:59 a.m. March 18th) between 2017 and 2021.
  • Over the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, 47 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes.
  • Year after year, the rate of impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes is higher at night on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • In 2021, 41 of the 47 traffic fatalities involving an impaired driver during the holiday period occurred in the nighttime hours (6:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.). Additionally, 31 daytime fatalities in drunk-driving crashes occurred between 2017 and 2021 over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.

Causes of St. Patrick’s Day Accidents

Some of the factors contributing to elevated accident rates include:

  • Drunk driving. Inebriated partygoers try to drive themselves home, putting themselves and others at risk.
  • Reckless behavior. Add young adults or college kids showing off with their vehicles to a couple of pints of green Guinness beer, and you get a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Intoxicated pedestrians. On this holiday, not only the drivers get drunk. Tipsy revelers on the sidewalks may lurch into the road, fail to follow crosswalk markings and signals, and generally make urban routes unsafe.
  • Bad weather. While we enjoy great weather year-round, it can rain on and off in March. If it happens on St. Paddy’s Day, it adds another problematic challenge for drivers, both drunk and sober.

Road Safety Tips for St. Patrick’s Day

Here are some ways that you and those you care about can stay safe during St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Designate a sober driver.
  • Utilize public transportation or a ridesharing service.
  • If you see a drunk friend trying to drive, get them an Uber or a Lyft instead.
  • If you are the designated driver, drive slowly and carefully, and keep your lights on.
  • If you are walking, use well-lit crosswalks and watch out for reckless driving.

Calm the Chaos with HN Injury Lawyers

It can be dangerous out there, but if you have been injured in an auto accident any time of year, HN Injury Lawyers are here to calm the chaos. We know the exact steps to guide your case through the legal process and will see it through to the best conclusion possible. We have 50 years of combined experience and have won millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Let us see how we can help you. Call us at (657) 333-5726 for a free consultation.

Posted in: Car Accidents