As the holiday season approaches, it is important to be aware of the dangers of drunk driving. According to the National Safety Council, rates of drunk driving-related fatal crashes are higher during the holiday season compared to the annual average. In 2019, 36% of New Year's fatal crashes and 38% of Christmas fatal crashes involved a drunk driver, which was significantly higher than the 28% average.
What Contributes to This Increase?
There are several reasons why rates of drunk driving-related fatalities increase during the holiday season. For starters, people tend to drink more during this time of year, as social events and family gatherings involve the consumption of alcohol. One report even found that Americans may go so far as to double their alcohol intake during this time of year.
Additionally, many people fail to plan ahead for safe transportation when attending parties or other celebrations where drinking is likely. This can lead to people driving while impaired or getting in a car with someone who is drunk.
Finally, winter weather conditions can play a role in increasing the risk of fatal crashes due to impaired drivers, especially in Upstate New York. Slippery roads, icy conditions, and limited visibility are all factors that contribute to an increased risk of accidents, which is why it’s important for drivers to slow down and watch out for other vehicles.
It is important to remember that drinking and driving don’t mix. If you are attending a holiday gathering or celebration, plan ahead for safe transportation so that you can avoid the risk of being involved in a fatal crash. Make sure to designate a driver who won’t be drinking or use a rideshare service, and make sure everyone wears their seatbelt. By following these simple steps, you can help keep the roads safe and prevent more tragedies this holiday season.
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