With the holidays upon us, it’s important to remember to remain alert while out celebrating, visiting family, and shopping for gifts. Though this is a joyous time of year, it is also one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. With everyone heading to parties and events, traveling to see family, and driving to the stores to buy food and gifts, there is an increase in traffic.
There are also increased tensions, inclement weather, and more alcohol consumption during the holidays. These are all things that can contribute to an increase in car accidents, especially when there are more people out driving on the roads.
According to the CDC, over 36,000 people were killed in car accidents last year, with a high number of crashes occurring during the holiday season. However, what some may find surprising is that New Year’s Day—not New Year’s Eve—is the most dangerous day to drive compared to other holidays.
New Year’s Day Accident Statistics
Though you might think that NYE is the most dangerous time to be on the road with all of the celebrations and champagne being served to ring in the new year, it is actually New Year’s Day that ranks as the worst day to be out driving. Based on previous years and other data, the National Safety Council predicts that around 422 people will die on this upcoming New Year’s Day.
The number of accidents and fatalities that occur can vary depending on the day that the holiday falls on. This year, New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday, which means people are likely to celebrate all weekend long from Friday until Monday. And naturally, the more days people celebrate, the more they will be out consuming alcohol and driving around.
What Causes Accidents to Increase on New Year’s Day?
Accidents on New Year’s Day still occur for the same reasons accidents occur on any other day, such as speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving, and impaired driving. However, accidents tend to increase on New Year’s Day more than any other day because of the increased alcohol consumption from the night before. Often, people out driving on New Year’s Day are hungover or still drunk from their celebrations on NYE, which impairs their ability to operate a vehicle.
How to Prevent Accidents During the Holidays
If being on the roads this holiday season is unavoidable, especially on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there are generally two main things to remember to avoid causing or getting into an accident:
- Designate a driver: If you are going to be drinking, you should simply avoid getting behind the wheel at all costs and find someone else to drive you that has not consumed any alcohol. Even if it’s just a couple of glasses of wine at dinner, you should designate a driver, use public transport, or use a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber.
- Drive defensively: Even if you will not be drinking, it’s wise to avoid being out on the roads as much as possible to avoid being hit by others who are not being responsible. However, if it can’t be avoided, stay alert and drive defensively. There will likely be lots of other drivers around you who have been drinking, so the best way to avoid an accident is to pay more attention to those around you than usual and avoid getting close to anyone who is driving recklessly or looks like they might be under the influence.
Consult an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer
At Crossen Law Firm, we want you to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. Unfortunately, this can be an especially dangerous time to be out on the roads. The New Year’s holiday is likely to be even worse this year than usual as it falls over the weekend. Just remember to avoid drinking and driving and stay alert if you get behind the wheel—and, if you do happen to get into an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
We have over 20 years of experience fighting for the victims of car accidents and are dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation at (317) 401-8626.