So many things occur between Halloween and New Year. There are parties, friends, and family reunions but there also injuries and accidents that maim and claim many lives. Call personal injury lawyer Steven Stambaugh at 717.846.1400
Come Christmas and New Year holidays, everyone loves to get out and spend time with friends and family at social venues, but these are also the riskiest road-accident days of the year.
Recent data by the National Highway Traffic Administration shows that in 2016, Thanksgiving Day was the day with the most deaths related to motor vehicles (439), followed by Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
In 2017 the national overall average fatalities on the road were 102 per day. But in sharp contrast, that figure shot to 119 on the four biggest holidays, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, and Fourth of July.
Pennsylvania 2017 crash statistics show that 2172 crashes leading to 152 fatalities happened between Christmas and New Year due to traffic volume on the roads. Most of the crashes occurred on the weekend before or after the holiday.
2018 Penndot data shows that 2151 crashes leading to 18 fatalities happened between Christmas and New Year. In 2019 that figure declined to 938 crashes and five deaths thanks to intensified road safety campaigns and safer car technologies.
Some age groups have the highest risk of drunk driving during these holiday seasons. Drivers who are between the age of 26 and 40 are more often involved in fatal accidents related to alcohol use.
30.7% of those involved in the Pennsylvania 2019 car crashes were females aged between 26 and 40. 30.4% were males aged between 26 and 40.
Common Causes of Crashes during the Holidays
The major cause of holiday car crashes is the high number of vehicles on the road. Long-distance travel by car is another cause. It becomes dangerous when exhausted drivers are traveling over long distances to be with family and friends.
Weather conditions, including ice and snow-covered roads, in combination with these factors, further elevate the risk of car crashes. Despite the natural causes, alcohol intoxication is perhaps the highest statistically proven cause of car crashes during the holidays.
In 2019, PennDOT data shows that there were 258 driver and passenger fatalities in alcohol-related crashes.
Other possible cause of car crashes during the holiday
Distracted driving: Phones calls and texting are the biggest distractions for drivers. Partying done in cars by passengers can also take the driver’s eyes from the road.
Reckless driving: The holiday is synonymous with traffic snarl-ups. Unfortunately, some drivers let their frustrations drive them into reckless behaviors on the road, such as overlapping.
Breaking traffic laws: Flouting PA traffic laws and safety regulations can cause accidents. These include running red lights, over speeding, and ignoring rules. That can often result in grievous injuries. Our most significant task here is proving that you are not at fault for the accident.
What you can do to prevent holiday car crashes
Avoid drunk driving: Call an uber or choose a designated driver. Alcohol intoxication impairs judgment on the road. Depending on factors such as body mass index and gender, even a single glass of wine can make it unsafe to drive.
Check weather conditions: Road conditions such as snow and ice also majorly contribute to the high number of accidents during and shortly after the holidays. There are many apps and sites that you can check for updates on road conditions.
Rest up before you drive: Long distance travel and drowsiness behind the wheels can cause disaster. Get enough sleep before setting out. Plan to stop every two hours during a long trip for a break. Avoid heavy carb meals that may make you doze off when you drive.
Inspect your car: Before you set off, ensure that your vehicle is well maintained. Look at the owner’s manual and identify any servicing that is due. Check the battery, the tires, and brakes and ensure that they are in the right condition before you get behind the wheels.
Car accidents or fatalities on the road can be compensated under tort law if it is found that somebody else’s negligence caused the incident. Speak to a personal injury attorney.