Whether you're staying here in Maryland, where winter weather can be highly unpredictable, or traveling to a warmer location for the holidays, all drivers need to know that some of the most dangerous traveling days of the year are upon us. A combination of more people on the road and increased social drinking leads to an uptick in traffic fatalities.
The most-traveled period of the entire year is the long Thanksgiving weekend. This weekend also includes some of the most deadly hours on the road, starting with Thanksgiving Eve, also referred to as "Black Wednesday." Colleagues taking off of work early, friends getting together while they're back home and families who don't want to cook on the night before the big day fill bars and restaurants as they hoist celebratory libations.
Law enforcement knows this, and is out in force, as they will remain through the New Year's holiday. This period has the most DUI arrests of the year. Interestingly, however, in a study of traffic fatalities by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, New Year's Eve only came in 7th in a ranking of the days with the most fatalities. (Summer holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day are the main culprits.)
If you think you can avoid being injured by a drunk driver or avoid getting a DUI yourself by walking to your destination, you may want to think again. New Year's Day is a particularly dangerous one for pedestrians. How many of these pedestrian accidents are caused by the driver and/or the pedestrian being drunk isn't known. However, your best bet for getting around during these busy holiday periods is with Uber or another ride-sharing service. If you share the ride with friends, even a busy holiday night ride doesn't have to be expensive.
Drunk driving can carry serious legal ramifications for the driver. However, if you are the victim of a drunk driver, you may be able to hold him or her civilly liable in order to collection the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical care and other damages.
Source: BACtrack, "The Most Dangerous Times on the Road," accessed Nov. 23, 2016