Every year, there is an influx in the number of car accidents, injuries and deaths around the Christmas holiday. Our team of Aurora car accident lawyers have seen the unfortunate reality of drunk driving accidents occurring more frequently around the holidays due to reckless celebrants who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. This holiday season, protect yourself and others from serious harm by choosing not to drink and drive.
How Common Are Alcohol-Related Accidents on Christmas Day?
Holidays have always been an especially dangerous time for drivers and road users due in large part to an increase in the number of impaired drivers. Holidays such as Christmas mean imbibing in alcoholic beverages for many, such as warm apple cider, champagne and spiked eggnog. Unfortunately, not all drivers make safe or smart choices. Many make the mistake of thinking they can safely drive home after drinking.
According to statistics from the National Safety Council, an average of 371 people die each year in traffic accidents on Christmas Day. Thousands of automobile accidents take place on and around the Christmas holiday, including the days leading up to and directly after December 25. The number of days that the holiday season lasts varies according to what day of the week Christmas falls on.
During the holiday season in 2019, 38 percent of traffic accident fatalities involved a driver who was impaired by alcohol. This is 10 percent higher than the annual average number of drunk driving deaths. The data from 2019 was on par with a long-time trend of increased drunk driving accidents and deaths over the Christmas holiday. Since data began to be collected in 1982, the percentage of Christmas drunk driving deaths has only been lower than the national average one time, in 1991.
How to Stay Safe on the Roads This Holiday Season
Alcohol-related accidents are often catastrophic for victims. Drunk drivers are more likely than others to drive recklessly, speed, run red lights, race, drive the wrong way and engage in other dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. This can lead to high-speed collisions or other severe types of automobile accidents, as well as catastrophic injuries and deaths. The best way to protect yourself is by being a safe driver and staying alert for drivers who are not as responsible.
Use these tips to decrease your risk of getting into an alcohol-related accident this Christmas:
- Avoid traveling. If you have to travel for Christmas, consider getting there a few days early. The closer to Christmas Day that you travel, the higher your odds are of encountering a drunk driver.
- Look for signs of drunk driving. Red flags include erratic driver behaviors, weaving in and out of multiple lanes, drifting off the road, slamming on the brakes and sudden acceleration. If you spot a drunk driver, keep a safe distance and call the police.
- Make a plan for getting home. If you plan on drinking, don’t plan on driving. If you like to enjoy one or more alcoholic beverages to celebrate the Christmas holiday, plan to spend the night where you are, designate a sober driver to get you home or arrange a ride, such as an Uber or Lyft.
Choosing not to drink and drive can save one or more lives this holiday season. Reporting a driver who is potentially impaired in your neighborhood can also save lives. Finally, if you have a friend who you’ve seen drinking, stop him or her from driving home. Take their keys and help them make arrangements to get home safely.
What to Do if You Get Into a Car Accident This Christmas
If you do get into a car accident involving a drunk driver this Christmas, try to stay calm and remember that you have rights. Go to a hospital immediately for professional medical care. Then, before dealing with the car insurance claims process, contact the attorneys at Manning Law for a free case consultation. Our personal injury lawyers in Aurora can help you bring a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company for fair compensation and explore your other legal options, such as a dram shop liability lawsuit. Call (720) 515-3191 today.