NSC: New Year’s Day Holiday Period Traffic Fatality Estimate for 2021
The National Safety Council estimates that 384 people will die in traffic accidents on U.S. roads this New Year’s Day holiday period and an additional 43,800 will suffer an injury severe enough to require medical attention. While this year is not normal, many will still choose to gather with friends and family to celebrate the new year. As it is with most holiday celebrations, alcohol is almost always involved. More people traveling on the roads combined with more people consuming alcohol, leads to increased traffic accident deaths year after year.
New Year’s Day 2021 falls on a Friday, which means the holiday period will last 3.25 days, between 6 p.m. Thursday, December 31 and 11:59 p.m. Sunday, January 3. This is a typical year where the New Year’s holiday period lasts longer because it gets combined with a weekend. The extended holiday period comes with the risk for more traffic fatalities. For example, last year New Year’s Day fell on a Wednesday and came with a 1.25-day holiday period and an estimated 163 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 New Year’s holiday period.
- Wear seat belts. Ensure that you and every passenger in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt 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 241 lives may be saved this New Year’s holiday period if everyone in every vehicle wears their seat belt.
- Do not drink and drive. According to injuryfacts.nsc.org, during the 2018 New Year’s Day holiday period, 39 percent of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Many lives could be saved this New Year’s holiday 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.
- Celebrate at home and invite guests to stay overnight. This year, more people will stay home than normal because of Covid-19. In Washington State, indoor bars and restaurants are closed and people are being asked not to gather in their homes with anyone who doesn’t live there. If you do invite friends or family over to celebrate, encourage them to stay overnight. This way, everyone can relax and enjoy without getting back on the road after a night of celebrating.
- 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!