When many people think of holidays, they think of congested interstates and long waits at the airport. While Christmas and Thanksgiving do bring a huge influx of holiday traffic – and accidents, some of the biggest dangers await motorists on other holidays.
Why is holiday driving so dangerous?
Holidays bring a one-two punch when it comes to increasing risks of a car accident. First, traffic is heavier. More people are traveling, especially when the holiday includes a long weekend.
Second, many people let their guard down because they are celebrating. Often this includes an increase in drunk and/or distracted driving (e.g., talking to passengers, using GPS apps, talking on the phone, texting, etc.).
Together, these factors make for very dangerous roads and interstates all over the country.
Many summer holidays consist of all-day drinking and feasts with friends, while winter holidays include the risk of icy conditions or snow. No matter the holiday, it pays to take precautions when driving.
Which holidays are the most dangerous?
While Thanksgiving weekend still holds the distinction of being the most dangerous holiday on Ohio roads, most people are aware of the road dangers during this busy time. Other holidays also pose a serious risk, and many people are not as aware of the danger. Some of the most dangerous holidays on Ohio roads include:
Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the summer vacation season, giving many people a good excuse to get out of town.
In fact, the AAA estimated that about 40 million people were on the road during Memorial Day Weekend 2016.
In Ohio alone, there were 2,791 crashes over Memorial Day weekend in 2015, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. This included 1,150 injuries and 16 deaths (the highest amount of deaths for any holiday). Seven of these deaths occurred in alcohol-related accidents.
Labor Day often serves as an end-of-the summer last chance getaway, with many families bound for the beach or other out-of-town destinations.
For those who stay in town, a day on the river or grilling out with friends often leads to all-day drinking.
In 2015, the holiday led to 2,711 accidents on Ohio roads, with 1,109 injuries and 14 fatalities. Four of these deaths occurred in crashes where alcohol was a factor.
Our nation’s independence day often lends itself to distracted and drunk driving. Nationwide, nearly half of all Independence Day traffic fatalities between 2010 and 2014 involved a drunk driver, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While Ohio cracks down on drinking and driving in the days surrounding this holiday, accidents still occur. In 2015, there were 2,609 crashes during this holiday, with 1,089 and ten fatalities. Surprisingly, only one fatality occurred in an alcohol-related crash.
New Year’s Weekend
New Year’s celebrations often include champagne, as well as a variety of other spirits. Add this to driving home after midnight, and the possibility of icy conditions and you have perfect storm conditions for a car accident. In Ohio, there were 1,086 crashes on New Year’s weekend in 2015. More than 400 people suffered injuries in these crashes, and six were killed. Half of the fatalities occurred in alcohol-related wrecks.
Ohio does not track specific statistics for Halloween car accidents, but it can be an especially dangerous time for motorists. On the day itself, there is a high risk for pedestrian collisions, and alcohol-related accidents related to Halloween parties.
Costumes that make it difficult to see also contribute to accidents each year. In 2015, Ohio recorded 6,799 accidents during the month of October. This included 100 fatality accidents.
How can I lower my risk for a holiday car accident?
The best way to lower your risk of being involved in a holiday car crash is to never drink and drive. Take a cab, use an app to line up a ride share, or designate a driver. Another option is to plan ahead, and get a hotel or stay with friends.
While not drinking and driving is key, it also pays to be aware that others may drink and drive, and to drive defensively. Ways to reduce your risk include:
- Try to be off the roads before dark
- Always wear a seat belt
- Do not speed
- Be cautious at intersections
If you do suffer injuries in a holiday car accident, you need to find an attorney who will fight for you. Levy Law Offices will fight for your financial relief, getting you the compensation you deserve to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Call us today to schedule your free consultation with our accident lawyers in Cincinnati, Ohio and learn more about how we can get you the money you need