Believe it or not, the holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Not only are the roadways more congested with holiday travelers and shoppers, but holiday parties and New Years’ Eve tend to bring out the drinking crowd – which never mixes well with busy city sidewalks. As you prepare for Christmas gatherings, holiday parties, and New Years’ Eve soirées, keep in mind the significantly increased car accident risks during holidays – and exercise plenty of extra caution as you navigate this most wonderful time of the year.
Holiday Traffic Accident Statistics
Sadly, auto accident statistics reveal a sharp and undeniable increase in injury and fatality during the holiday season. At a time when families deserve to be rejoicing in the company of one another, many are facing the grim reality that bad weather, intoxicated driving, and careless driving can make for a holiday disaster in the blink of an eye. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, December ranks second in both the number of annual motor vehicle accident injuries and the number of accidents involving property damage only. Moreover, statistics, published in 2013, reveal the following additional trends.
- Nearly 40 percent of accidents occurring between Christmas and the New Year involve alcohol.
- The number of travelers on the road during Christmas and New Years’ increases by up to 23 percent.
- Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 are more likely to be involved in an accident.
- Approximately 27,900 auto accident injuries occur during the holiday season, and roughly 250 fatalities will result from auto accidents.
Of course, there are a number of ways to help protect against becoming a statistic, as well as options available for anyone having experienced a catastrophic holiday accident or injury.
Tips to Prevent Accident and Injury
Don't drink and drive. Practicing safe driving tactics is the most surefire way to reduce exposure to harm, as well as avoid unnecessary liability in the upcoming New Year. Of course, as you engage in holiday revelry, never get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Not only are local police forces gearing up for the holiday season by increasing their DUI task forces, but an alarmingly high percentage of holiday injury and fatalities are alcohol-related, meaning intoxication plays a major factor in the unsettling number of holiday accidents. Moreover, if you suspect an adjacent driver may be intoxicated or you witnessed a partygoer drive away when he clearly should have – contact law enforcement immediately, as it may save a life.
Be mindful of weather conditions. Aside from intoxicated driving, poor weather conditions are also known to contribute to problematic driving around the holiday season. If conditions seem too perilous to make the trip, trust your instincts and stay home. If you happen to find yourself stuck at an event while weather conditions worsen, try to head home as quickly as possible – or make arrangements to stay where you are until the weather subsides.
Practice patience as traffic volume increases. Lastly, be aware of the sharp increase in the number of drivers on the roadway, and be prepared for the extra volume. Too often, impatience and road rage take hold of drivers, resulting in totally unnecessary conflict and injuries. As the shopping season comes to a close, remember to slow down, take your time, and remember the purpose of the holidays is to spend time with loved ones and enjoy the joyous time of year.
Contact an Atlanta injury attorney today!
As you prepare for the upcoming holiday season, be sure to keep safety at the top of your holiday wish list – and contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC if you are involved in an accident at 404-474-0804.