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Do Car Accidents Increase During The Holidays?

Posted on 11/07/19 by Malloy Law Offices in Auto Accidents,Personal Injury

Holiday season is just around the corner with Thanksgiving coming up in three weeks, and then of course Christmas and New Years. Many people start wondering, do holidays increase car accidents? Should I let my teenagers with a valid license drive around to meet with their friends? Does Winter Break increase chances of a crash? Matter of the fact is that yes, car accidents increase during the holidays. However, that does not mean that we need to ban teenagers from driving or we should reduce our holiday activities. Below we are going to break down reasons for the increase as well as tips on how you can reduce your risks. If you are reading this because you have already been involved in an accident, our team invites you to read our page on Car Accidents that will provide you with next steps and how our team can personally help you.

Why Do Car Accidents Increase During The Holidays?

This is an excellent question, that does not have one exact answers but many. There are so many things going on all at once during the holidays that can potential lead to an accident. Are some of them preventable? Sure, but it is our responsibility as drivers to be aware of them and minimize the risk. One of the main reasons that car accidents increase during the holidays is because people are enjoying winter vacation with their families and chances of adults consuming alcohol rise.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving increases naturally during vacation and holiday season. People are going out and enjoying time with their family and friends which means enjoying a beer or a glass of wine and looking back at old memories and funny moments. However, many people think that just because they had one to two drinks they are perfectly capable of driving, which is not the case. Driving with alcohol in your system or even just a light buzz can still impair your vision, make you sleepy, or impair your reaction time which are three things that most definitely can lead to a car accident. So does this mean you cannot drink? Absolutely not, it just means about being smart about how many drinks, and if there is another person who did not drink with a valid license that can do the driving that day.  According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, nearly 40 percent of fatalities during the holiday season stem from accidents with at least one driver under the influence of alcohol.

Next we are going to talk about three obvious reasons that are so obvious people often times forget about them. These obvious three reasons are stressed drivers, more people naturally on the road, and weather conditions.

Weather Conditions

In the United States when you picture Christmas and New Years whether it’s in the Big Apple, on the West Coast, near Grand Canon or any other location in the USA, you think of snow. Santa Clause and the eight reindeer’s are always seen in a location with snow. Snow means slippery roads, lots of wind, ice should it rain, and lots of cracks on the streets from the cold temperatures. This means drivers need to take extra precaution when driving because visibility will be reduced and having control of the vehicle is harder under harsh conditions whether its from the weather itself or harsh roads resulting from bad weather. Another thing to consider is that drivers that do take precautions can sometimes go so slow that other drivers have a harder time calculating their speed, and the snow and wind on the windshield definitely does not help vision.

Next up we are going to discuss drivers under stress and why they can put others at risk when driving.

Stressed Drivers

Stress can actually impact an individual in more ways than they realize. Some people are not even aware of the stress they have, and let’s be honest, holidays don’t help ease that stress. Yet, how does their stress affect me on the road? Great question, drivers that are stressed often time get less sleep than others and feel mentally exhausted. That exhaustion can have the same impact as alcohol does on drivers. Their vision can be impaired, they can fall asleep on the road, they have their head somewhere else, get distracted very easily, and lastly, they are inpatient. Imagine yourself having ten millions things to do and only a few hours to get it done. On top of the few hours, you have other things that take priority too. You have to get the turkey, cook the turkey, buy gifts, buy dessert, bake and cook on top of taking care of the kids, taking them to school, going to work, and letting the dog out. All of this leads to people being inpatient and hurrying up to do everything, which means hurrying on the road and going fast. Fast speeds also lead to car accidents. Does this mean that if a person is stressed out they cannot drive? Absolutely not! It simply means taking more precaution, acknowledging when you need to be more patient, asking another person to drive if you feel exhausted, or simply requiring someone to accompany you if possible.

Lastly, we are going to discuss more people on the road. Lots of times, people forget about this one.

Roads Are Loaded With Cars

Holiday season means travel time. If it’s not because people travel to go see friends and close family members, it means travelling to get ready for these events. It also means, people doing more activities and enjoying quality time together now that the kids have break. Naturally these means, more people will be on the road trying to get to their destination, and let’s not forget that the other factors discussed earlier that can already be in affect. What this means is that not only are more people naturally on the road during the holidays, but they can be on the road under bad weather conditions or driving with lots of stress.

So then what does our team recommend to decrease the chances of being involved in an accident?

Our Driving Tips For The Holidays

  • Do not drive under harsh weather conditions
  • Make sure your car and specifically your tires are in condition to handle snow
  • Giving yourself plenty of time to get where you are going
  • Driving under the speed limit
  • Only driving as fast as is safe in the current conditions
  • Never tailgating or driving aggressively
  • Keeping your temper under control and try to avoid hurrying up to a location
  • Always wearing a seatbelt and respecting all road signs
  • Never drinking and driving- always bring a family member or buddy along that can be the designated driver for that day
  • Avoiding distracted or fatigued driving- if you feel fatigued have a coffee and possibly a passenger accompany you

If you have any further questions, or were recently involved in a car accident which was not your fault and need help with next steps, contact Malloy Law Offices today at 202-464-0727. Our team of dedicated attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Do not be left with the property damage, and medical bills all on your own when the accident was not your fault.