The National Safety Council estimates that 408 people may die in traffic accidents on U.S. roads this New Year’s Day holiday period and an additional 46,500 will suffer an injury severe enough to require medical attention; these numbers represent a small decrease over last year’s estimates. The vast majority of people who choose to celebrate with others for New Year’s get there by driving – which is the most dangerous way to travel – especially with the alcohol involved with most New Year’s parties. 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 2023 falls on a Sunday, which means the holiday period will last 3.25 days, between 6 p.m. Friday, December 30 and 11:59 p.m. Monday, January 2. When the holiday is combined with the weekend, it extends the holiday period, which increases the estimate of traffic fatalities.
Review the chart that shows the reasoning behind the NSC estimate. The numbers are based on an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System data since 1996.
How to Protect your Family from New Year’s Day Holiday Period Traffic Fatalities
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of a motor vehicle accident this New Year’s holiday period.
- Wear seat belts. Make sure 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 162 lives may be saved this New Year’s holiday period if all drivers and passengers in every vehicle wear their seat belts.
- Do not drink and drive. According to injuryfacts.nsc.org, during the 2020 New Year’s Day holiday period, 30 percent of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Many lives could be saved this New Year’s holiday if all drivers chose to avoid alcohol before getting behind the wheel. If you are planning to celebrate at a bar, pub or friend’s house, make a 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.
- If you choose to celebrate at home, invite guests to stay overnight. If you decide to host a house party, encourage guests to stay overnight – especially if they stay for the midnight countdown and if alcohol was consumed. 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 lawyer
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!