For some people, holidays are a chance to relax and unwind at home. Others use the extended time off work to take a road trip to visit family or see somewhere new. But unfortunately, statistics show that holiday periods have an increased number of traffic accidents. Understanding the risks of car crashes during the holidays can keep you and other road users safe on your days off.
Dangerous Driving Holidays and Statistics
Statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate that traffic-related deaths are more common on holiday weekends than on other days of the year. Even more concerning, they have been on the rise in recent years. Based on prior years’ statistics, here are the NSC’s estimated number of fatal crashes for the following holiday periods in the coming year:
- New Year’s Day – 408 fatalities
- Memorial Day – 469 fatalities
- Independence Day – 619 fatalities
- Labor Day – 455 fatalities
- Thanksgiving – 518 fatalities
- Christmas – 346 fatalities
These high numbers show how cautious all motorists must be when traveling during the holidays.
What Types of Accidents Increase During the Holidays?
While all types of accidents may increase during the holidays, the most significant statistic is the increase in drunk driving crashes. For example, during a recent New Year’s Day holiday, 49 percent of fatal accidents involved a driver under the influence of alcohol. For context, the NSC’s national average for alcohol-related fatalities in traffic crashes is 30 percent.
Other types of accidents that may increase during long weekends include collisions involving:
- Distracted driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Fatigued driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
Specific Factors that Contribute to Holiday-Related Crashes
As the statistics show, one of the main factors contributing to fatal holiday-related motor vehicle accidents is the increased number of drunk drivers. Many people choose to drink more over a long weekend. A false sense of confidence may lead them to believe they will be fine if they get behind the wheel. However, this belief can quickly lead to tragedy.
Another factor is the increase in traffic on the roads and highways as people travel to visit loved ones or vacation spots. Heavy traffic congestion can leave less room to maneuver. This can increase the risk of crashes if drivers do not take proper precautions. It can also lead to road rage, increasing the chances of reckless driving accidents.
Drowsy driving collisions may increase as well. Those traveling long distances in a short period of time can develop driver fatigue. Tired drivers may be unable to react in time to avoid road hazards and can fall asleep on the road.
Contact the Utah Car Accident Lawyers at Swenson & Shelley Today
Whether it happens during a holiday weekend or on your commute to work, suffering injuries in a car accident can lead to pain, emotional suffering, and financial strain. The experienced Utah car accident attorneys at Swenson & Shelley can help you recover compensation for these losses and more. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.