When planning your travels for the holiday season, your biggest concerns will likely be timing and weather. You won’t necessarily think about the possibility of a crash. However, anytime you travel, there is a possibility of a collision resulting.
Certain days have more statistical risk than others, and the holidays are some of the most dangerous days of the year when it comes to your overall collision risk. There are many families that have bittersweet annual celebrations because the holidays become the anniversary of a family tragedy due to a crash.
As you prepare to travel this holiday season, understanding what contributes to the drastic increase in crash risk around the holidays could keep you a bit safer.
- Drunk driving
The holidays are some of the most dangerous days every year for drunk driving. Alcohol consumption at family parties and the need to drive home after celebrations combine to lead to increased crash risk around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year every year.
- Fatigued driving
Some people will stay up all night wrapping presents or cooking before the holidays. Others get up early in the morning to make a meal for their family and then spend the entire day coordinating celebrations and chasing their children.
By the time people head home in the evening on holidays, they may have already been awake for so long that their fatigue starts to affect their driving ability. They might fall asleep at the wheel or make poor choices because of their exhaustion.
- Distracted driving
Maybe the person at the wheel doesn’t actually know the route and has to repeatedly look at their GPS device to determine the next step to take. Perhaps the children are arguing in the backseat, or the driver feels an intense amount of pressure because the family is behind schedule. Distraction can come from many sources, and it is dangerous because it affects people’s ability to properly adjust to changing road conditions.
The holidays often see a spike in traffic collisions in no small part because people feel like they have to drive despite their exhaustion, chemical intoxication or distraction. Identifying and avoiding common causes of motor vehicle collisions can help you arrive at your celebration as planned.