During the holiday season, it’s important everyone out on the road to be aware of the various hazards they could potentially face. The holidays are a busy time of year, with many people traveling to go shopping and visit friends and family. It is also time of parties, meaning the roads are more congested with drivers who make the poor decision of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
While the Fourth of July is the deadliest single day of the year for drivers, the period between Thanksgiving weekend and New Year’s Day is also associated with high rates of drunk driving arrests. Thanksgiving Eve, often referred to as “Black Wednesday,” is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday impaired driving season.
During the week between Christmas and January 1, the average number of fatalities involving a drunk driver rises by as much as 34 percent, according to some studies. In total, 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s Day involve drunk drivers — a 12 percent increase over the rest of December.
Other holiday seasons also see elevated incidences of drunk driving, especially Labor Day and Memorial Day. But it is the December holiday season that has the largest prolonged increase in unsafe driving.
Stay safe on the roads
What can you do to stay safe when traveling this holiday season? First, never get behind the wheel if you’ve had too much to drink. If you are with another person who is sober, have him or her take the wheel instead. If you are by yourself, call a cab or a ride-share, or take public transportation if it’s available. Planning ahead can help you avoid making a bad decision as the night wears on.
Also, don’t drive during particularly busy hours, if you can help it. More cars on the road means a greater likelihood a crash will occur. It’s a numbers game.
Finally, avoid driving during inclement weather. While we may not get the snow and ice seen in the northern parts of the country, rainstorms and other bad weather can make for a dangerous scenario on Florida’s roads and highways.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, be sure to reach out to a skilled Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.