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How risky are the roads on St. Patrick’s Day?

Local police forces issue warnings about St. Patrick’s Day. With so many people out celebrating, and many starting to drink much earlier than on a school day, it is obvious that drunken drivers will be an issue.

Yet, while it is the first major celebration of the year, it is far from the deadliest. It does not even make the top five. Here are the most dangerous days on the road and the percentage risk increase compared to the daily average:

  1. New Year’s: 129%
  2. Independence Day: 100%
  3. Thanksgiving: 77%
  4. Labor Day: 61%
  5. Memorial Day: 54%

The ranking is based on DUI related deaths

Does that mean driving on St. Patrick’s is safe?

No. The police put out those campaigns for a reason. If you need to drive, here are a few things to consider:

  • Do not drink a drop of alcohol: Even a small amount of alcohol reduces your driving ability. Also, if you miscalculate, you have a higher than usual chance of being caught due to the increased presence of police.
  • Time your trips to avoid danger periods: If you head out to the store when a parade is finishing or when the bars are shutting, you are more likely to meet drunk drivers on the road. Careful timing can also help you to avoid too much traffic.

Alternatively, if you, too, want to join in the celebrations, why not leave the car behind. Walking can help you burn off some of the alcohol you consume. Buses and taxis can also make sense.

However careful you are, you need to assume that some drivers will have been drinking. Even if you walk, you need to stay alert to the risk drunk drivers pose at intersections and crossings. If your St. Patrick’s terminates with a visit to the local accident and emergency, understanding how to get compensation for your injuries will be crucial.