WHAT MAKES ACCIDENT RATES INCREASE DURING THE WINTER HOLIDAYS?

We all want to have a fun, celebration-filled holiday season, visiting with friends and family we don't otherwise often see. However, driving to visit our loved ones and attend holiday parties can come with a greater risk of being in a crash. Limit your risk of injury by cutting down on the time you'll be spending on the roads during the holidays, and learn more about what makes the holidays a more risky time to drive.

The winter holiday season can feel like one long string of parties, from Thanksgiving to New Year's. These parties tend to bring with them a great deal of drinking, and, for unscrupulous revelers, an increase in drunken driving. While all holidays tend to bring a higher accident rate, those holidays closely associated with drinking, such as the winter holidays, also bring a higher rate of fatal accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, while on an average day, 36 individuals are killed in an accident caused by alcohol-impaired driving, 45 people die each day in the days surrounding Christmas, and 54 die each day on New Year's Eve and surrounding days. Another factor contributing to higher drunk driving accident rates is the day of the week on which holidays fall. In years such as this one where the holidays fall on a weekend, drunk driving rates are even higher, as revelers do not have to worry about getting to work in the morning.

A major factor in higher accident rates during the holidays is the sheer number of drivers on the road. While there are always more drivers on the roads heading out to visit family or do their shopping during the holidays, the low cost of gas will make these numbers even greater this year. Also, good weather has a counterintuitive effect on winter accident rates. While drivers are loath to head out on the road during a raging storm, mild winter weather results in a greater likelihood that people will hop in their cars. Additionally, while high school and college students are on long breaks from classes, they have more free time to drive around with friends. Distracted teens free from the demands of school can be a hazardous presence on the road.

If you've been hurt in a crash on New Jersey roadways, contact the skilled personal injury and car accident attorneys at Smith & Doran for a free consultation on your claims, at 973-292-0016.

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