- Memorial Day weekend is the deadliest Holiday period, averaging 312 fatal accidents
- Alcohol is more likely to be a factor in Holiday accidents, especially in warm weather
- Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve tend to have a lower fatal accident rate but higher rates of alcohol-related accidents
The Holidays are rapidly approaching, which means millions of Americans will be traveling across this great nation’s highways. Unfortunately, heavy traffic and the pressure to reach destinations quickly (so you can actually enjoy the Holidays) dramatically increases the risk of getting in a serious car accident.
Our Pensacola car accident lawyers see a significant rise in the number of accidents that happen during these Holiday weekends. Surprisingly, while many people associate Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other year-end Holidays with risky travel, several three-day weekends earlier in the calendar pose even greater threats.
In other words, you should take care while driving throughout the year, even as you focus on the Holiday road trips immediately ahead. Follow basic safety tips to avoid a car accident injury when possible. And when it’s impossible to avoid, know that you can get legal representation on your side to help recover the medical costs and other damages you will incur.
To help you be prepared, make note of the following most dangerous Holiday travel periods of the year.
#7 — Christmas
The tail-end of the year is not the traffic nightmare many people think it is. More families tend to travel by car on Thanksgiving, and the winter Holidays pale in comparison to vacation-friendly weekends during warmer weather.
Statistics show that period around Christmas averages about 231 fatal accidents per year. This number can fluctuate greatly depending on whether the holiday falls near a weekend (more travel days correlates with a higher number of accidents). One thing that is consistent, though, is that over a third of all Christmas time car accidents involve alcohol impairment.
#6 — New Year’s
Another surprise: New Year’s Eve doesn’t have as high of a statistical risk as one might assume. An average of 245 fatal accidents happens per year, with 355 deaths recorded in 2015 by FARS statistics.
Alcohol consistently plays a factor in these incidents, however, with 40% to over 50% of accidents involving drinking and driving. The highest percentage in recent years (53%) came during 2014, when New Year’s fell on a Tuesday and many people presumably had plans to get home and be ready for work the next day.
#5 — Thanksgiving Weekend
Even more so than Christmas, Thanksgiving tends to bring families together for one big day of feasting. An estimated 48.5 million Americans will be travelling by road this year, according to AAA. Statistics also show that an average of 258 fatal accidents happen over the weekend period, which can vary according to the day Thanksgiving falls.
Alcohol as a factor also varies for Thanksgiving road accidents, but it typically trends from 30% to 40%.
#4 — Easter Weekend
Since Easter always falls on a spring weekend, millions of families usually travel to visit family or attend large church services.
An average of 280 fatal accidents happens during this time. Perhaps even more surprising, 37% of these accidents involve alcohol.
#3 — 4th of July
The top 3 most dangerous travel periods all relate to times when most people have a day off and want to spend it having casual fun with family or friends. Alongside leisure and grilling comes alcohol use, though, as well as hasty drivers impatient to start their relaxation.
Accordingly, an average of 307 accidents happen on Fourth of July, and over 40% of them typically involve excessive alcohol use.
#2 — Labor Day
Labor Day always falls on a weekend, and like Independence Day it is associated with unwinding and having fun. The roads are also always choked during this day, too, dramatically increasing the risk of a serious accident.
FARS data shows that an average of 308 fatal accidents happens on Labor Day weekend, with about 36% to 40% of all accidents involving alcohol.
#1 — Memorial Day
Perhaps most sad of all, the day we use to remember our fallen American heroes coincides with a day when many people drink in excess or exercise other forms of poor judgment.
An average of 312 fatal accidents occurs each year over Memorial Day weekend, and the period consistently sees around 40% of accidents where alcohol is a factor.
Don’t Become a Statistic. Drive Carefully on All Holidays, and Remember You Can Rely on Pensacola Car Accident Lawyers
Whether you’re traveling this winter or thinking about trips you can take in the months ahead, please drive safe out there and be aware of your elevated risk.
Sometimes no matter how carefully we are, though, we can get injured in a car accident where we rack up substantial medical bills and other costs.
If you have been the victim of a car accident and you think other parties might potentially be at fault, know that you have the right to pursue fair compensation for your damages. You can speak with one of our Pensacola car accident lawyers for a free consultation when you dial the number above or use our convenient online contact form.
Have a happy Holidays throughout the year, and be safe out there!