Drunk driving collisions are tragic in no small part because they are completely preventable. If every driver simply followed the law prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, thousands of crashes annually would simply not occur.
Unfortunately, many people do drive drunk, often habitually. Others may only drive while intoxicated in unusual situations. Regardless of how often someone gets behind the wheel after drinking, they have an elevated risk of causing a crash each time they drive while impaired.
The holidays tend to cause a significant spike in drunk driving collisions. If you will be on the road around Christmas or New Year’s Day, you may want to pay extra attention for signs of intoxicated drivers on the road.
The holidays are some of the most dangerous days to drive
When you look at annual crash statistics and the days that have the highest overall rates of collisions and fatal crashes, a disturbing trend starts to emerge. Especially when you think about drunk driving collisions in particular, the most popular holidays often see the highest overall rates of fatal crashes.
Christmas actually has one of the lower risk levels for major holidays, often because people don’t drive on the holiday itself or stay overnight if they do. Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day all have a strong association with significantly elevated crashes. Many years, the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest days on the road because of alcohol-related collisions.
How can you protect your family around the holidays?
Obviously, you can’t just avoid traveling to visit family or running errands around the holidays any more than you can avoid your daily commute to work. What you can do is choose to travel on roads with lower levels of traffic and during the times of day when your crash risk is typically lower.
You can also operate under the assumption that other drivers may have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel and adjust your driving habits appropriately on high-risk days. Those affected by drunk driving around the holidays may have grounds for an insurance claim or even a civil lawsuit against the driver who hit them.
Learning more about the seasonal changes for your crash risk will help you more effectively reduce your chances of a major collision.