by Tim O’Hare
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The holiday season is one of the most deadly times to be on the road. Christmas and New Year’s holidays are among the 10 most dangerous days to drive. Stress of the holiday season and busy roads can lead to more aggressive driving, according to a State Farm survey which found that 32 percent of drivers were more likely to show signs of aggression or road rage during holiday travel.
According to research from multiple sources, other dangerous days to be on the road include: Memorial Day weekend, the start of daylight savings time, Black Friday, NFL game day, Friday the 13th, July 4th, Thanksgiving, and St. Patrick’s Day.
After analyzing 10 years of crash data in Alabama, David Brown, a University of Alabama professor found that the six days around Christmas were especially deadly, with 27 percent more accidents occurring on those days than New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Day almost always ranks in the top five deadliest days of the year, and in most cases, alcohol is a factor. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), January 1 is the No. 1 day of the year with the highest percentage of deaths related to alcohol. Analysis by the National Safety Council of accidents occurring over the New Year’s holiday between 2007 and 2011 found that about 42 percent of all traffic fatalities were related to drunk driving.
Holiday parties often come served with a large dose of alcohol — the more a person drinks, the more impaired his or her decision-making will be. One wrong decision to drink and drive could be deadly for you, or someone else.
It is possible to enjoy the holidays without putting your life in danger; believe it or not, choosing not to drink doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on holiday fun.
3 Tips to Stay Safe During Holiday Travel
Don’t be a victim of drunk driving. Here are three tips to stay safe on the roads this holiday season:
Choose a designated driver. If you’re going to a holiday party and you plan to consume alcohol, plan ahead and select a designated driver or alternative form of transportation. Before you get to the party, know exactly how you will get home. If you’re hosting a party and serving alcohol, be sure to provide plenty of nonalcoholic drink options for the designated drivers.
Avoid late night driving. Nobody wants to be the party pooper who leaves just before the end ball drops on New Year’s Eve. But if it means getting home safely, it’s worth it. Leave the party early so you can avoid the late night rush of potentially dangerous drivers and start 2016 off in one piece.
Drive in the right lane. Sticking to the right lane can save your life from drunk drivers, and wrong-way drivers alike. Often times drunk drivers drift out of their lane or into oncoming traffic. The further you are to the right of the road, the better your chances of avoiding being sideswiped or hit head-on by a drunk driver.
Don’t let the fear of becoming a victim of drunk driving keep enjoying the festivities this holiday season. Just be sure to plan ahead and make smart choices to keep yourself and others safe.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of drunk driving, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas and Ft. Worth personal injury attorney.
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