Our Boston accident lawyers know that the holiday season is a dangerous time on the roads. While most people think Thanksgiving and New Years Eve are the highest risk times, studies indicate that there may actually be a period of time over the holiday season that is even worse for driver safety: the days around Christmas.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of good cheer, of spending time with friends and family, and of engaging in religious traditions for a number of faiths. However, Christmas has become a stressful time for many, with drivers scrambling to do last-minute shopping or to get to their travel destination. More people on the roads — especially people who are coping with holiday stress — can mean more accidents, more injuries and even more deaths.
The Holiday Season is Not a Happy Time for Drivers
The Washington Post recently provided some in-depth information about driving around the holiday season that should disturb any motorist:
- An analysis of 10-years of crash data in Alabama indicated that the six days around Christmas registered 18 percent more traffic accidents than Thanksgiving weekend (the heaviest travel time of the year) and 27 percent more traffic deaths than New Years Eve (when there is a high percentage of drunken drivers on the roads).
- Around a third of drivers indicate that they become more aggressive driving on the roads when holiday stress takes hold.
- State Farm Insurance found that 32 percent of drivers were more likely to show signs of aggression or road rage during the holidays. Both parents and young drivers were especially prone to this driver aggression, with drivers under the age of 49 most likely to experience stress and to be prone to angry driving.
- The Highway Loss Data Institute reported that claims for collisions increase by around 20 percent in the month of December. This number is likely even higher because not all collisions that happen in parking lots (which are very common around Christmas) get reported to the police or to insurance companies.
While the data clearly shows reason for concern about the safety of holiday drivers, there are certain days that are better than others. Christmas day, for example, tends to have fewer people on the roads since most people are at home. This makes Christmas a very safe day to drive. Since many stores close earlier than normal on Christmas Eve, this too is a relatively safe day, especially later in the day once people have finished their shopping activities.
The worst day of this year, however, is projected to be the Friday before Christmas. People are more likely to be behind the wheel that day because of commuting traffic; people leaving for the weekend; and holiday shoppers who may have gotten gift cards or who may be returning unwanted gifts. Drivers need to be especially careful on this day and, if they don’t need to head out on the roads, they may wish to consider staying home.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 888-367-2900.
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