The holidays are usually known as a happy and exciting time, but unfortunately, this time of the year is also recognized for reasons that are less than jolly. The sad truth is that the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s are among the deadliest in the country as far as traffic is concerned, and the numerous vehicle accidents that do not result in a fatality often still come with lasting repercussions. But just why do car accidents increase during the holidays in the first place? By recognizing the most common causes of auto collisions during this time of the year, you can better understand what types of claim you may be able to file in the event that you are the victim of one. And of course, knowing the risks will also help decrease your chances of getting into a new accident.
Traffic Increases During the Holidays
Many people are quick to point the finger at careless driving or getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (which we’ll go into momentarily), but the truth is that sometimes the cause is very simple. The holiday season equates to more vehicles or traffic volume on the road, which of course just increases the risk of collision. It is therefore important that you take certain precautions, such as allowing yourself extra time to reach your destination and leaving as much room between yourself and other drivers.
Holiday Gatherings Often Involve Alcohol
Many people enjoy a cup of spiked eggnog or holiday punch at parties and other gatherings throughout December, though of course there are plenty of other alcoholic beverages going around as well. There’s nothing wrong with having some fun with friends and family and enjoying a drink or too, but there is a problem when drunk driving is involved. In fact, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis has found that almost 40 percent of all accidents during the week of Christmas resulted from at least one of the drivers being under the influence of alcohol while operating the vehicle. So for those planning on drinking during the holidays, it’s important to be responsible and keep alcohol limited and/or have a reliable designated driver lined up.
Keeping Vehicles Maintained Is Not a Priority
Many of us often are not as on top of vehicle maintenance as we should be, but the truth is that it tends to fall even more to the wayside when holidays like Christmas are swiftly approaching. After all, why spend all your money on new brake pads or replacement tires when you have gifts and decorations to buy instead? But while it can seem like the prudent choice at the time, making sure you have enough funds for holiday spending by skimping on vehicle maintenance can prove to be a deadly decision. After all, many of us live in areas where the weather is more difficult to drive in this time of year, and again, the roads are also more congested with general traffic and drivers who may already be making unsafe decisions. You can drive as carefully as you like, but the fact is that not investing in proper vehicle maintenance can leave you with a car that is unresponsive when and where you need it to be.
Holiday Stress is Very Real
The holidays are fun and all, but let’s face it– most of us are also very stressed out over a lot of things during this time. There are presents to buy, cooking to be done, things to finish at work, events to attend (or host) and for many people, traveling to do. It’s all a lot to deal with, and it’s imperative to take time for yourself to de-stress and calm down before you get on the road. If you find that this is hard to do, try doing some slow breathing techniques or even squeezing a stress ball before you start the engine.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes accidents still happen despite precautions being taken. If you are involved in an auto accident, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. This is particularly true when you are the victim, as you may be entitled to compensation. While nothing can take back the accident from happening, your attorney will be there to help you navigate what happens next. In the meantime, stay safe this holiday season!