Independence Day is one of the most anticipated holidays for many families in South Dakota. Parents get to spend time off with their kids and celebrate with some fun outdoor activities. Plenty of people throughout the state are planning trips to their cabins, getting some meat for the barbecue and scouting out some potential spots to watch fireworks at night.
Unfortunately, many of them don't know that they might end up spending the Fourth of July in a hospital. This national holiday is notorious for its high DUI rate, which means you may end up sharing the same roads as some reckless and intoxicated individuals. It is important to be aware of how dangerous driving can get around this holiday week and where you'll likely encounter these irresponsible motorists.
Two studies last year by financial websites highlight how much of an issue drunk driving is on Independence Day and for South Dakota in general. WalletHub's fact sheet states that the Fourth of July is America's top beer-drinking holiday, has an average of 466 car deaths throughout the nation every year and that there were 188 DUI-related deaths on this day in 2016.
Keep in mind most of these statistics revolve around the day of the Fourth of July. While the holiday on its own has dangerous roads, plenty of people take more than one day off during this week. There is still a higher chance to come across a drunk driver on the day before or after Independence Day than most of the summer.
It also doesn't help that ValuePenguin found South Dakota to have the seventh highest DUI fatality rate in the nation. Excessive drinking has also cost the state nearly $600 million per year.
Most of the reckless drivers you may come across on the Fourth may not even be from South Dakota to begin with. Thousands of people travel by car during this week, and many of them will pass through South Dakota to get to a neighboring state like Minnesota or someplace further. Since many of these visitors are going on vacation, expect a large portion of them not to arrive on the roads sober.
However, South Dakota is a very popular state to visit around this time of year. Summer is the optimal season for camping, and there are dozens of campgrounds and parks scattered throughout the state. As expected, Mount Rushmore becomes a very popular place to visit during this week. Even if you don't come across many drunk drivers, you'll still see a big uptick in traffic featuring drivers unfamiliar with the state.
As your chances of coming across a dangerous driver dramatically increases around this holiday, it is important to know who to contact if you end up in a serious crash. Motor vehicle accident attorneys can help you understand what options you have in financially recovering from an incident that ruined your day off.