With Thanksgiving upon us, it is time to take stock of dangers that might be faced during the holiday season that stretches from Turkey Day through New Year’s. The holiday season sees a large spike in traffic accidents, particularly accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s all have high risks of DUI accident, though the reasons for the elevated rates are different dependent upon the holiday. Thanksgiving is heavily focused on large dinners, and for many families those dinners include alcohol. But the primary reason for the increased number of DUI accidents is the sheer number of vehicles on the road. Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, and more cars means more potential vehicles for people under the influence to collide with.
Christmas is also a heavy travel time, but people are more likely to travel a few days before and after Christmas, whereas with Thanksgiving the vast majority of the travel is the evening before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving itself. But Christmas is associated with a rise in depression, and depressed people are more likely to drink too much and make bad decisions.
New Year’s Eve is heavily associated with over-consumption of alcohol, and the early morning hours of New Year’s Day are among the most dangerous times to be on the road. Many people fail to properly plan for how they are getting home from their late night festivities, or underestimate the amount they will drink while they are out.
Being aware of these risks and scheduling as best you can to avoid dangerous times on the road lowers the risk of being in an accident. But oftentimes people have limited control over when they travel. If you work late the Wednesday before Thanksgiving but want to visit family for the holiday, you are forced to brave the dangerous busy roads. If you are involved in an accident over the holidays, and you believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident, please consult with an experienced attorney about your case.