How many people are traveling the highways in October for the Halloween holiday? How many people will be driving their cars to visit relatives during Thanksgiving and Christmas? These are the questions that make up a significant percentage of car accidents during the holidays. All holidays are connected to higher rates of vehicle accidents. However, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve saw increases in fatalities from 5 to 10 percent.
October is the deadliest month of the year on the highways in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports a 10 percent increase in fatalities in October over last year. Why Is the Crash Rate in October So Much Higher?
Safety professionals know why there is a higher crash rate in October: The number of oncoming motor vehicles increases dramatically for the holidays.
This increased traffic makes the danger even worse for motorists because they may be driving distracted by trying to get the house decorated, spending time with family or friends, or buying gifts.
Crash Rates Over the Holidays
Car crashes during holidays are just one of many dangers related to family travel. In a recent review of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, nearly 25,000 people were killed, and close to 5,000 were seriously injured in collisions between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Motor vehicle collisions are a significant concern for drivers at home during the holiday season. As family members gather in the car, they should follow these tips to stay safe.
Keep Cell Phones Use To A Minimum
Many holiday drivers put their phones and other electronic devices in their backseat or on the console and cannot see them during a stop. Never text and drive, and don’t use your phone at all in the car with children.
To avoid getting drowsy:
- Take frequent breaks from driving and refrain from going over the speed limit.
- Follow the five-minute rule and avoid driving if you feel drowsy, sleepy, or “blacked out.”
- If you become fatigued, pull over to a safe spot and try to get your eyelids to open as wide as possible.
Never Drink & Drive
Drinking and driving affect hundreds of thousands every year, and there is an exponential increase in DUIs over the holidays. If you plan to drink at a family gathering or holiday party, ensure you have a designated driver or plan to use common rideshare applications like Uber or Lyft.
Where to Turn For Help
The holidays should be a time of love, joy, and peace spent with the ones you are close to. When tragedy strikes and you are facing the complications of a car accident, you should not ever have to go through it alone. Our team at Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP work tirelessly for our clients to get them the justice they deserve.