The holiday season is in many ways “the most wonderful time of the year,” as the song goes. It’s filled with time spent with loved ones, stuffing ourselves with amazing food, and giving to others. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year. Between all the rush and stress, traveling out of town to see family, and sometimes drinking to excess, accidents always increase during the holidays.
The Most Dangerous Season of All
The days between Thanksgiving and New Years make up the busiest travel period, especially for long-distance-travel, for the whole year. More people drive 50 miles or more from home to see faraway friends and family than any other time during the year. And it’s not just the fatigue and stress associated with long distance driving that increases car accidents. Statistics gathered by the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS, 2001 to 2005) show that accidents and fatalities associated with driving under the influence are higher between the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays than other days during the month of December. The often icy roads and other cold weather conditions just add to the danger of driving during this season.
AAA projected in 2014 that about 46.3 million Americans would drive at least 50 miles from home during the holidays in 2014. During the Thanksgiving holiday, most driving takes place on Wednesday right before Thanksgiving, making that Wednesday the busiest travel day of the month. More people on the road means more accidents, especially when the stress of the holidays leads to more aggressive driving behavior. In fact, a State Farm study reported that 32% of drivers showed more signs of aggression and road rage during the holiday season. Finally, driving while under the influence of alcohol increases during the holidays. New Years Day turns out to be the most dangerous day for deaths related to alcohol, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Legal Help in Case of an Accident
If you are involved in a car accident this holiday season, be sure to arm yourself with the legal help you need to protect your rights. Call Daniel C. Miller in the Kansas City area at (816) 875-0470 in Missouri and (913) 624-9646 in Kansas.