Whether you’re planning on staying in the Hudson Valley during the holidays or taking a long road trip to visit farther-flung family, roads and highways tend to become more dangerous during the holidays. Read on for some reasons why roads become a little less safe during the holidays, and stay safe when on the roads this season.
More drivers equals more crashes: During the holiday season, drivers heading to see family, or to swarm local shopping malls to buy presents, tend to hit the road in large numbers. Anytime there are more cars on the road, the chances of a crash will rise. Additionally, the stress of organizing and attending holiday gatherings, purchasing gifts, or a little too much family time can lead to more distracted drivers being on the road. Not only are there more drivers on roadways, but due to holiday breaks for both high school and college students, there are likely to be more teen drivers with free time out on the roads, driving to social events with friends. These younger drivers are more accident-prone, especially when factoring in the distraction of being with friends.
Drivers are more likely to have been drinking before getting on the road: Even if you’re not heading out on the highways for a long road trip, there are more dangers on local roads during the holiday season. The holidays bring lots of parties and thus greater alcohol consumption during celebrations with friends. While some holiday traffic may have an above-average accident rate without resulting in more fatal injuries, holidays associated with heavy alcohol use tend to be more deadly. As a result, New Year’s Eve tends to be one of the year’s deadliest holidays. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that an average of 36 people dies on American roads each day due to alcohol-related accidents. However, on Christmas, this number rises to around 45 alcohol-related road deaths a day during the three days around Christmas, and to 54 a day over New Year’s. This year, Christmas falls on a Friday, as does New Year’s Day. When holidays fall on a weekend, there are even higher accident rates, as people become more inclined to drink before driving home, since most will not have to work the following day.
Winter weather wreaks additional havoc: Winter weather brings the hazard of slippery precipitation to New York roads, which can pose an even greater challenge to alcohol-impaired or distracted drivers. Counterintuitively, accident rates are even higher during the holidays in years where the weather is milder, such as this one. When there’s a blizzard, people won’t drive unless absolutely necessary, but if conditions are good, drivers are more likely to get behind the wheel.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with a negligent or reckless driver on New York roads, contact the personal injury firm with over 30 years of advocating for Hudson Valley accident victims and call Basch & Keegan for a free consultation, at (845) 251-4545.