Holiday Travel & Car Accident Risks

The holiday season is officially in full swing, with Christmas and New Year celebrations just around the corner. 

Many people start wondering if there is a greater risk of getting into a car accident during the holidays. As a matter of fact, yes there is.  The period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest travel times of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are generally more car crash fatalities during the holidays than non-holidays. 

If you and your family or friends are planning to travel or be on the road more frequently during this time, you should learn more about what is likely to cause a holiday car accident and how you can reduce your risks.

If you are reading this because you have already been involved in a holiday car accident, our attorneys at Taylor Martino P.C. invite you to review our practice page on car accidents that will provide you with the 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 just one answer but many. The number of increased holiday accidents stems from a variety of circumstances that arise during festive times of the year. Are some of them preventable? Sure, but it is up to us as responsible drivers to be aware of them and mitigate the risk. 

Here are some of the most common reasons for an uptick in holiday car accidents:

Increased Traffic + Road Rage

Overall, the holiday season seems to be synonymous with an increase in travel time and more opportunities for vehicle collisions. Not only because people are on the road heading to see friends and close family members, but during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, more people are also out shopping for gifts and running errands related to holiday festivities.

The roads become even more congested, even at off-hours, making people late for work, appointments, and parties. Impatient and frustrated drivers tend to make more mistakes including speeding, tailgating, running red lights, and road rage, among other careless behaviors.

Increased Drunk Driving

Driving while under the influence naturally increases during the vacation and holiday season. People are mingling and enjoying time with their family and friends while having a celebratory beer or a glass of wine. Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that just because they had one to two drinks they are perfectly capable of driving, which is not the case.

Although we all know not to drink and drive, the notion of “I just had a few” can result in an auto accident that can cause injuries or death. Keep in mind that it is not only drunk driving, but also driving “buzzed” that is against the law. Driving with even just a light buzz or any alcohol in your system can still impair your vision, make you sleepy, or impede your reaction time which are three things that most definitely can lead to a holiday car accident.

Stressed, Distracted Driving

Stress and fatigue can impact an individual in a lot more ways than they realize. Many people are not even aware of the stress they are carrying, and although it is supposed to be a celebratory time, holidays don’t always ease that stress. Unfortunately, that can increase the risk of a holiday car accident because drivers that are stressed often get less sleep than others and feel mentally exhausted.

Exhaustion and fatigue can have the same impact on drivers as alcohol does. Their vision can become impaired, they can fall asleep on the road, they can get distracted very easily, and lastly, they can become frustrated and impatient. Imagine yourself having millions of things to cross off your list with only a few hours to get it done. It can become extremely stressful traveling to buy gifts, decorations, food and other holiday necessities. An increase in stress and fatigue can lead to negligent driving and more car accidents on Alabama roads.

Failure to Maintain Vehicles

In an effort to afford holiday purchases with all the trimmings, drivers may also slack on routine car maintenance and use that money to purchase gifts instead. This can be dangerous when it comes to vital upkeep such as inspecting your brakes and tires. Risking a blowout on the highway due to worn out tires or the inability to stop correctly due to failing brakes can put lives at risk and other drivers in jeopardy. Proper car maintenance is important at any time of year. Consider it a gift to yourself to care for your car and keep up with its maintenance.

Dangerous Driving Conditions

Wintertime is historically one of the worst times to be out on the roads. The many events and gatherings held during the holidays prompt people to travel in dangerous conditions that they may otherwise not venture out into such as snow, ice, and sleet making driving conditions hazardous. With low visibility combined with ice accumulating on untreated asphalt, even the slightest distraction could result in a holiday car accident, multi-car collision, or fender-bender. Rather than travel during a storm, it’s safer to just stay home until the weather is more agreeable.

What To Do After A Holiday Car Accident

At the Law Office of Taylor Martino Rowan, our holiday car accident lawyers will aggressively represent clients throughout each phase of the legal process. We understand how important it is to build a strong case for the compensation you need. It is important for you to know that the steps you take immediately after a  holiday car accident can also significantly help your case. 

If you have been in a holiday car accident, you could possibly recover compensation for your injuries if the other driver was proven to be negligent. Contact the team at Taylor Martino Rowan for a free, confidential consultation. We are confident that we can help you understand your best legal options.

To schedule time with one of our holiday car accident lawyers, contact us online or call our office at (251) 433-3131.

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