The holidays – whether it’s the holiday season, the Fourth of July, or Memorial Day – are opportunities to gather with loved ones and enjoy the festivities, but statistics show that these holidays see more car accidents than any other time of year. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help protect yourself and your family when you travel by car over a holiday, and if you are injured on a holiday – or at any time – you should seek the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Texas auto collision attorney as soon after the accident as possible.
What’s In This Guide
- Holiday Car Accident Statistics
- When It Comes to Holidays and Car Accident Statistics, It’s Complicated
- The Risk of Impairment Is Increased
- Arrive Alive
Holiday Car Accident Statistics
ValuePenguin has done the math over a five-year period and shares the sobering statistics related to holiday car accidents. The holidays – regardless of which holiday – have a way of getting people into their cars and out on the roads, and due to the increased traffic (and a variety of other reasons), there are more car accidents around holidays than at any other time. Some holidays, however, are more dangerous than others. Let’s take a closer look by considering the following:
- The Fourth of July is the deadliest day of the year, but Memorial Day’s three-day weekend is the deadliest three-day stretch.
- Memorial Day weekend sees about 312 traffic fatalities each year, and the deadliest city over that weekend is Houston, Texas.
- Labor Day weekend sees about 308 fatal traffic accidents each year.
- Fourth of July weekend sees about 307 fatal traffic accidents each year, and the deadliest city over that weekend is Houston, Texas.
- Easter weekend sees about 280 fatal traffic accidents each year.
- Thanksgiving weekend sees about 258 fatal traffic accidents each year.
- New Year’s Day sees about 245 fatal traffic accidents each year, and the deadliest city for that day is Houston, Texas.
- Christmas sees about 231 fatal traffic accidents each year, and the deadliest City for that day is San Antonio, Texas.
Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that, in 2019, December was the deadliest month of all with 334 traffic fatalities. The fact that December represents the holiday season likely plays a significant role in this heightened number.
When It Comes to Holidays and Car Accident Statistics, It’s Complicated
ValuePenguin shares that, when it comes to holidays, determining the risk involved is complicated. Consider the following:
- In the five-year period between 2011 and 2015, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July weekends were the deadliest three-day periods to be on the road.
- While the days leading up to and away from Thanksgiving see increased risk on our roadways, Thanksgiving Day is safer than any average day (most people stay put on Thanksgiving Day itself).
- New Year’s Day itself, on the other hand, is exceptionally dangerous, but December 31 and December 2 are typically safer than average days.
The Risk of Impairment Is Increased
Holiday weekends significantly increase the risk of being injured by a drunk driver. In fact – in that comprehensive five-year study stretching from 2011 to 2015, about 40 percent of all the Memorial Day weekend accidents involved a drunk driver, which represents about a 43 percent increase over an average three-day span.
The risk of traffic accidents over a holiday is elevated, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares some important steps you can take to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe on the road – regardless of the holiday – including:
- Make it your policy never to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and don’t stand idly by if you see someone else making the dangerous choice to drink and drive. In 2019 alone, alcohol contributed to more than 10,100 fatal traffic accidents. Don’t turn a blind eye to drunk driving – step up as a designated driver, by hailing a cab or rideshare for the other person, or by offering him or her a place to stay.
- When you’re driving during a holiday rush, it’s especially important to put your distractions away. The fact that it takes about five seconds to write or send a text and that you can travel about the distance of a football field during this time should tell you everything you need to know.
- Plan your route ahead of time – avoiding rush hour and highly trafficked routes whenever possible. It’s also important to check the weather and to factor in any increases due to slowing down for rain, wind, ice, and other forms of bad weather. Remember too that you’re always safest when you travel by the light of day.
- Make children’s safety your top priority by ensuring that every child is buckled the right way into the right seat for his or her size and weight (for the entire trip). Additionally, remember that children who are 12 and younger are safest when they are buckled up in the back seat.
- Don’t let the rush of the holiday increase your speed. It’s important not to exceed the posted speed limit, but it’s also important to decrease your speed safely in response to bad weather, poorly maintained roads, heavy traffic, road construction, or any other adverse condition you encounter. If you need to be somewhere at a specific time, pad your schedule so you’re not pressured to hit the gas.
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Look to an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney for the Help You Need
We look forward to all the holidays we celebrate throughout the year, but it’s important to keep in mind that, with all that revelry, there is also increased risk. If another driver’s negligence causes you to be injured in a car accident, the capable Texas car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm have an imposing track record successfully guiding claims like yours toward favorable outcomes, and we’re here for you too. To learn more about what we can do to help, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 361-400-2036 today.