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IIHS finds highest number of fatal crashes on July 4

Oklahoma residents who are wary about going out on the road on holidays have good reason for it. A recent analysis from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that Independence Day is the deadliest holiday in America for fatal car crashes. The IIHS studied fatal car crash data from 2010 to 2014, 2014 being the last year with accurate data, and found that every year on July 4, an average of 118 people died.

The holiday is particularly deadly for motorcyclists with an average of 26 deaths each year on July 4. The daily average for the rest of the year, at least for the study period, is 12. The most frequent factors in these fatal car crashes include alcohol intoxication, speeding and neglecting to wear a seat belt or a helmet. Approximately 47 percent of the fatal crashes on July 4 involved at least one vehicle occupant, pedestrian or bicyclist with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or above.

The second most deadly holiday is New Year's Day. On that day, 62 percent of the deaths involved someone with a BAC of at least .08 percent. New Year's poses the greatest risk to occupants of passenger vehicles with 86 deaths on average during the study period.

Survivors of car accidents who know they were not at fault may be eligible for compensation. Once they file a claim with the guilty driver's auto insurance company, the company will likely be aggressive in denying payment, so victims may want to hire a lawyer before beginning. Accident attorneys might have the accident reconstructed and gather proof like the police report before proceeding to negotiations. They may be able to determine a fair amount after factoring in any comparative negligence.

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