Each holiday throughout the year inspires its own set of driving challenges. This isn’t just about the winter holiday season. Holidays throughout the year tend to make driving more dangerous, due partially to increased traffic and higher chances of encountering impaired drivers.
Nationally, certain holidays are associated with a decrease in traffic fatalities. Conversely, holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day and Thanksgiving are all associated with an increase in traffic fatalities.
Heightened traffic and distractions
During times of celebration, especially those associated with long weekends like Memorial Day or Labor Day, there’s typically a surge in road trips. These result in congested highways and increased stress levels for drivers.
Celebratory occasions often involve alcohol, and unfortunately, this leads to an uptick in impaired driving. Drunk driving incidents tend to spike during these times, making it vital for sober drivers to remain particularly vigilant and for party-goers to arrange for safe transportation in advance.
New Year’s Day results in the highest percentage of drunk driving fatality increases. These are the traffic deaths along with the rate of alcohol impairment for six major holiday periods in the United States in 2020:
- New Year’s Day: 138 deaths, 49%
- Memorial Day: 397, 41%
- July 4th: 479, 41%
- Labor Day: 506, 38%
- Thanksgiving Day: 496, 36%
- Christmas Day: 312, 39%
These statistics also include certain periods around each day, based on when travel is increased. Holidays on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday are considered to be 3.25 days long. Holidays on Tuesday and Thursday include 4.25 days. Holidays on Wednesday have the shortest period, which is 1.25 days.
It’s always critical to drive safely, but you need to be more vigilant during holiday travel. Your safety doesn’t depend only on your actions. Other drivers can cause crashes. If that happens to you, be sure to get medical care. From there, you can opt to seek compensation for your damages by seeking legal guidance.