The holiday season is here once again, giving us a chance to kick back, relax, and enjoy some well-earned rest. This unique period of the year gives us a chance to share some quality time with our nearest and dearest and unwind from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
Unfortunately, the Christmas period and the New Year holidays are some of the most dangerous times to be on the road, as a couple of unfortunate holiday accident statistics reveal an average of 343 people die in traffic accidents in the United States each year across the three-day Christmas period, while 373 die over the New Year holiday.
This harrowing statistic makes even bleaker viewing when you consider that over 94% of traffic accidents occur due to human error, meaning the vast majority of them were completely avoidable. If you’re wondering why the holiday period is a particularly dangerous time, it’s mostly as a result of the adverse weather conditions and a sharp increase in drunk driving,
The winter months bring in snowy conditions that are treacherous for even the most experienced drivers, which is why it’s important to study up on some holiday driving tips before you head out, especially if you’re a newbie driver. Whereas more people drink drive on the holidays than usual, drastically increasing the likelihood of traffic accidents.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the holiday drunk driving statistics and explain how dangerous the roads can be at this time of year, as well as a few holiday driving safety tips to help protect you while out on the roads. Let’s get into it.
Drunk Driving Statistics During The Holidays
Here are some holiday accident statistics for drunk driving that highlight the importance of driving responsibly over the holiday period:
- Drunk drivers are the cause of 40% of traffic deaths over Christmas and New Year’s
- An average of 27 people die every day in December due to drunk driving incidents
- Drink driving crashes account for nearly one-third of the yearly driving fatalities
So what is the cause of this massive rise in alcohol-fuelled accidents? Unfortunately, it’s largely down to people’s ignorance and arrogance. Many individuals assume there will be fewer people on the road, which provides them with a clear rationale for driving while under the influence.
Others don’t drink very often and have a lower tolerance. Once intoxicated, they tend to get on the roads and naively believe they are safe to drive. Of course, whatever the movies are, drunk driving is extremely selfish and dangerous, as you not only endanger your life but the lives of other people who are on the road.
If you like to have a few drinks at Christmas, keep in mind the damage you can do to others and yourself if you jump into a car. The costs of a DUI charge can add up significantly, especially when you consider the price of the bail, impounding costs, and DUI attorney fees.
In California, the average cost of a DUI arrest is between $10,000 – $12,000, and you can expect to pay even more than that unless you hire one of the best criminal lawyers in Los Angeles to fight your case.
How to Identify Potential Drunk Drivers
Now that you’ve seen the shocking holiday drunk driving statistics, it’s important to learn what you can do to prevent yourself from becoming another one of those statistics. With that said, one of the best holiday driving tips is to learn how to identify potential drunk drivers so you can stay out of their way and alert the authorities.
Here are a few quick telltale signs:
- Quick acceleration and deceleration
- Zig-zagging all over the road
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Striking objects in the street
- Excessive braking and erratic behavior
How to Stay Safe on the Road this Season
Unfortunately, there is little we can do to control others’ drinking habits, and undoubtedly, there will be numerous drunk drivers on the streets this holiday season.
The best thing you can do is keep in mind the following holiday driving safety tips and do what you can to stay safe:
- Always plan for the weather
- Leave early and drive slowly
- Always be alert of other drivers
- Watch for black ice
- Do not text and drive
- Keep your car serviced and make sure it’s ready to deal with the cold temperatures
- Do not drink at your Christmas party if you know you plan to drive
We hope these safety tips for the holidays serve you well and keep you and your family safe during the Christmas and new year period, as this is a time for celebrating and rejoicing with the ones you love and not for grieving.