Thanksgiving is almost here, and Christmas and New Year’s will soon follow. Many people look forward to the holiday festivities this time of year as a time to reflect, celebrate the season and be with their families, but the holidays can be a dangerous time for road travelers.
The statistics on holiday travel fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2010 to 2019 there were over 12,600 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in the five-day period surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of these collisions, 36% took place on or around Thanksgiving and 64% took place on or around Christmas.
What makes the holidays a dangerous time on the road?
There are a variety of factors that make the holidays a dangerous time to be driving.
First, there is simply more traffic on the roads during the holidays. Congestion can make people drive aggressively, speed and take other risks in order to reach their destination quicker. These negligent acts, however, can easily result in a fatal car crash.
Second, weather is not always so nice around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many areas of the country see rain, ice and snow during these holidays making road travel treacherous. If you take risks behind the wheel during poor weather conditions, you could risk fatally striking another motorist.
Third, the holidays are a popular time to indulge in alcohol. While most people would never intentionally drive drunk, after you have had a few drinks, you are not able to think clearly and may get behind the wheel of a car. Drunk drivers are dangerous drivers at any time of the year and run the risk of causing a fatal car wreck.
In the end if you plan on driving this holiday season it is important to play it safe. Leave for your destination well ahead of time, keep an eye on the weather and avoid driving after drinking. Doing so will help keep the roads safe for all holiday travelers.