New Year’s is one of the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year with an increase of 23 percent, compared to the average number of long distance trips during the rest of the year. About 91 percent of travel over the holidays is done by motor vehicle to domestic locations (99 percent). Combine this extra travel with lots of parties and an increase in alcohol consumption, and it is a recipe for more car accidents.
According to the Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day bring an increased rate of fatal car crashes. If you or your family is injured in a New Year’s car crash, contact a car accident attorney right away. There is no cost to you; attorney fees are paid out of the settlement.
Holiday Accident Statistics from NHTSA
With increased darkness and potentially icy or snowy conditions, the month of December can be especially dangerous for motorists and their passengers. An NHTSA study of car crash fatalities by month and holidays between 2001 and 2005 found that:
- 41 percent of car accident fatalities occurred on New Year’s;
- 38 percent occurred on Christmas;
- 28 percent occurred during the rest of December; and
- the 11 other months of the year combined endured 31 percent of total car crash fatalities.
More than 40 percent of car crash fatalities during Christmas and New Year’s involved alcohol. It is important to note, however, that drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 are responsible for the most fatal car crashes involving alcohol over the holiday, followed closely by people aged 25 to 35 years. During the period between December 15, 2006 and January 1, 2007, there were 37 fatalities recorded in this age group that involved alcohol.
Holiday Accident Risk Factors
Avoiding the following risk factors by staying home can help to ensure a fun and safe holiday season:
- More vehicles on the road
- Drivers travelling long distances becoming fatigued
- Rushing to reach a destination
- Icy, wet, or snowy road conditions
- More hours of darkness
- Leaving parties late (fatigued) or intoxicated
- Worn tires or inappropriate tires for winter road conditions
The bottom line is that you should never drive buzzed, drunk, or fatigued and always allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Make sure that you car is well tuned up and that your tires are appropriate for winter with plenty of tread left. If you will be travelling through a mountain pass or a particularly wintry area, put chains on your tires. Be willing to slow down while driving on particularly bad road conditions such as black ice or standing water.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!