While the holiday season of Thanksgiving through the New Year is meant to be a time of celebration, the festivities can be quickly cut short due to a car accident. Unfortunately, the holidays tend to see greater numbers of auto accidents compared to other times of the year. There are several reasons why car accident rates increase during the holidays.
Holiday Accident Statistics
According to accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving weekend experiences on average anywhere between 400 and 600 fatalities across the country, while the week stretching from Christmas to New Year’s can see anywhere from 900 to 1,200 auto accident fatalities. Of course, these fatalities take place over only a week and a half out of the five to six weeks that the holiday season lasts. Hundreds of more fatalities will occur through the rest of the holiday season.
Causes of Car Accidents over the Holidays
The holidays have certain characteristics that tend to cause an increased number of motor vehicle accidents, including:
- Heavy traffic – The holiday season means more vehicles on the road, both with people traveling on the holidays themselves as well as people out and about doing their holiday shopping or running errands to prepare for holiday parties.
- Distracted driving – Drivers may be even more likely to become distracted by their phones while driving, including programming the GPS for navigation, or texting or calling people to confirm arrival times or discuss holiday shopping, or to search the internet for which stores have the best deals on gifts.
- Aggressive/reckless driving – With increased traffic on the road, drivers may be more likely to feel frustrated or stressed due to the traffic delays. This can lead some drivers to engage in aggressive or reckless driving behaviors such as tailgating, excessive speeding, undertaking, unsafe lane changes, or weaving in and out of traffic.
- Drowsy or fatigued driving – Drowsy or fatigued driving can also become a problem during the holidays, especially for drivers who undertake long road trips, or even due to the fact that shorter days means that it is more likely drivers will be on the road after dark.
- Drunk driving – Unfortunately, some drivers may indulge a little too much in holiday cheer, getting behind the wheel after having had too much to drink. Drunk driving accidents often tend to increase in number during the holiday season.
- Visiting drivers – Driver visiting from out-of-town may not be familiar with the roads, leading to issues such as sudden, unsafe maneuvers to reach a turn or an exit, distraction with GPS navigation, or getting lost and ending up the wrong way on one-way streets.
- Vehicle mechanical issues – Late fall and early winter weather can put a lot of stress on vehicles. A lack of maintenance can cause mechanical issues to occur on the road, such as engine breakdown, brake failure, or tire blowouts.
- Poor weather/road conditions – Rain, sleet, and snow and freezing temperatures can all occur during the holidays, making roads more slippery.
Where Holiday Car Accidents Are More Likely to Occur
Places where car accidents over the holidays are more likely to occur include:
- On interstates and highways, especially around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays specifically as people travel by car to visit family and friends in another town or state.
- Around shopping centers, especially in shopping center or shopping mall parking lots, as stores are congested with people doing their holiday shopping.
- Downtown areas, as these areas become packed with visitors, shoppers, or people going out to holiday parties at downtown bars and restaurants.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Miramar, Coral Springs, Davie, Boca Raton, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.