Christmas Holiday Traffic Accident Estimate for 2019
The National Safety Council (NSC) has estimated that 115 people may die on U.S. roads this Christmas Day. Generally speaking, traffic accidents increase on holidays because there are more people traveling on the roads to visit with family and friends. (If people are close enough to drive – say within four hours – they are likely to choose traveling by motor vehicle). On top of this, more people consume alcohol on holidays as they gather to celebrate with loved ones. Increased road traffic and drunk drivers are two of the biggest contributors to traffic accidents.
Because Christmas Day 2019 falls on a Wednesday, the holiday period will last 1.25 days, between 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 24 and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, December 25. Most years, the Christmas holiday period lasts longer because it gets combined with a weekend. Years with an extended holiday period, come with the risk for more traffic fatalities.
Review the chart that shows the reasoning behind the NSC estimate. The estimate is based on an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System data.
How to protect your family from a traffic accident this holiday season
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of a traffic accident this Christmas.
- Wear seat belts. Ensure that you and every passenger in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt and that infants and children are strapped into appropriate car seats or booster seats. When seat belts are worn properly, they reduce the risk of fatalities for front-seat passengers by 45 percent. The NSC estimates that 128 lives may be saved this Christmas Day holiday period if everyone in every vehicle wears their seat belt.
- Do not drink and drive. Thirty-seven percent of Christmas Day holiday period traffic fatalities in 2018 involved an alcohol-impaired driver. On average, over the holidays, the number of alcohol-related fatal car crashes increases to almost 33 percent. Many lives could be saved this Christmas holiday period if no one got behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Plan to stay overnight, have a designated driver or abstain from alcohol in order to ensure that you are not drinking and driving. If you see another vehicle swerving on the road, get out of their way and call 9-1-1.
- Opt to fly if you are able. If you are planning to take a long road trip over four hours you should consider flying, which is a much safer mode of transportation. This way you won’t be contributing to road congestion and will avoid the risk of a road traffic accident.
- Do not drive overnight. Driving while tired and in the dark can dramatically increase your risk of being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. If you are planning to stay very late visiting with family or friends, see if it’s an option to stay there overnight and head home in the morning when it’s daylight and you’re rested.
Seek the help of a Bellingham car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. 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 personal injury lawyers 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!