July 4thA new study has found that July 4th is the deadliest day on US highways, with an average of 148 deaths caused by vehicle crashes on that day.

The study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that 114 deaths occur in highway crashes on an average day.

The Institute said that one third of all fatal accidents involve speeding.  The study also discovered that while many states are outlawing cell phone usage while driving, there is little evidence that it is causing accidents.

Adrian Lund, President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said  “Recent research by my organization on hand-held cell phone bans enacted in three states and the District of Columbia, found that the laws are not reducing crashes, even though hand-held phone use declined.”

The study analyzed crash data from the years 2004 to 2008. The Institute suggested that the rise in the number of fatal crashes on July 4th is related to the increased number of vehicles on the nation’s highways for the Independence Day holiday, drivers driving longer distances than usual, and driving tired.  Intoxicated driving is also a factor.  They stated that July 4th has the second highest number of alcohol related crashes, at 41%.  Only New Year’s Eve has a higher average, with 49% of crashes being alcohol related during that holiday.