Does the Risk of Car Accidents Increase during the Holidays? By Sean Burke on December 08, 2020

crew cleaning wreckage from a car accidentThe pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, including our holiday travel plans. While we may not be going to big parties to ring in the new year, there is still an increased risk of car accidents during the holidays. Drunk driving, driver fatigue, and poor decision making can all lead to serious, even fatal, collisions.

The Irvine, CAcar accident attorneys at Burke Argos would like to examine why motor vehicle accidents are more likely during holidays. After looking at some statistics, we’ll consider what 2020 collision numbers might look like, and then offer tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Holidays and Heightened Drunk Driving Risks

Many people consume more alcohol during the holidays. This is particularly true of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July, Cinco de Mayo, Saint Patrick's Day, and Mardi Gras. This translates into poor decisions when getting behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the higher rate of drunk driving deaths during the holidays are linked to the following factors:

  • Greater time spent on the road
  • More alcohol consumed during holidays
  • More speeding and reckless behaviors during these times of year

Statistics on Winter Holiday Auto Collisions

Numbers compiled by the NHTSA reveal that 454 auto accident fatalities occurred during Thanksgiving weekend in 2019. From Christmas Eve 2019 to New Year’s Day 2020, the NHTSA recorded 799 auto collision deaths.

Accident Dangers during Summer Holidays

Winter holidays aren’t the only dangerous times for motorists. Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in the Irvine area must also be careful during summer holidays.

During Fourth of July weekend in 2019, the NHTSA recorded 594 car accident deaths. During Labor Day weekend of that year, there were 448 motor vehicle fatalities.

How the Pandemic May Change 2020 Crash Data

The above numbers are alarming and cause for concern, though the data we get this year could be different. More people are working from home and avoiding gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many holiday office parties have been canceled, and New Year’s Eve parties will likely be subdued. In addition, a number of bars, music venues, and clubs are closed or operating at limited capacity, meaning fewer people drinking and driving.

Road Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Even though the roads may be slightly safer this year compared to others, it’s important for drivers to be smart and stay safe. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid auto accidents and catastrophic injuries:

  • Buckle up when you’re in your vehicle
  • Never drive while under the influence
  • Always have a designated driver
  • Use Lyft, Uber, or a rideshare app to avoid drunk driving
  • Always follow the posted speed limit
  • Avoid reckless behaviors when you’re behind the wheel

Speak with Our Attorneys

Victims of auto accidents and their loved ones can rely on our Irvine-based attorneys for legal help. We encourage you to contact the lawyers of Burke Argos online or call our law firm at (949) 644-3434.

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