Does the Risk of Car Accidents Increase during the Holidays?
In a normal year, the holiday season is a time for families coming together and sharing yuletide cheer. This year may be different given the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet it’s still likely that there will be an increased number of auto accidents during the holidays.
The car accident attorneys at the Tawwater Law Firm here in Oklahoma City, OK, would like to consider the heightened danger of driving during the holiday season. Our lawyers will look at national collision statistics and then offer some tips for staying safe as you drive during this time of year.
Why Drunk Driving Is More Common during Holidays
Holiday weekends and holidays such as Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween typically see an uptick in alcohol consumption. This leads to drinking and driving rather than acting responsibly.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributes the increased drunk driving fatalities during the holidays to the following factors:
- Increased travel times on the road
- Increased alcohol consumption during these times of year
- Increased instances of speeding and reckless behaviors on the road
Winter Holiday Statistics
Data from the NHTSA shows that 454 auto collision deaths occurred during Thanksgiving weekend 2019. The NHTSA also recorded 799 motor vehicle fatalities from Christmas Eve 2019 to New Year’s Day 2020.
In addition to drunk driving during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, the hazards on the road are often compounded by poor weather, such as ice and snow.
What About Summer Holidays?
Summer holidays can be just as dangerous as winter holidays. NHTSA data recorded 594 auto accident fatalities during Fourth of July weekend in 2019. The NHTSA also recorded 448 vehicle deaths during Labor Day weekend 2019.
While there may not be ice and snow during the summer, drivers still operate their vehicles under the influence and make reckless decisions on the road. Individuals drive to outdoor gatherings and other Oklahoma City destinations, which increases the risk of collisions.
Will the Pandemic Affect 2020 Car Accident Rates?
Lockdown orders vary from state to state and even from city to city. In places where restaurants, bars, and other venues that serve alcohol operate at limited capacity, there will likely be fewer drunk drivers on the road. During the holidays in particular, fewer office parties and large gatherings are likely to reduce the number of drunk drivers.
Driver Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
Even though the risk of auto accidents may be higher during the holidays, there is a lot you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Our attorneys recommend the following tips whenever you’re about to get behind the wheel:
- Never drink and drive
- Have a designated driver
- If you are drunk, consider using Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing app to get home safely
- Always observe the rules of the road
Contact the Tawwater Law Firm
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, our Oklahoma City attorneys can help. To learn about your legal options, contact us online or call our law firm at (405) 607-1400.