Do Car Accidents Increase During the Holiday Season?

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the last thing on your mind may be the possibility of getting into a car accident. However, it’s important for all drivers to be aware that certain factors make the holidays a risky time to be on the road. In fact, statistics show that car accidents spike during the winter months—but there are ways that can help you stay safe.

Contributing Factors to Holiday Car Crashes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are typically more car accidents during the holiday periods than non-holiday periods. For instance, statistics from the agency reveal that, in 2017, there were 119 crash-related fatalities during the holidays, compared to 102 crash-related fatalities during the non-holiday periods.


There are several factors that ultimately contribute to more car crashes during these times, including:

  • Increased Traffic. With more cars on the road in close proximity to one another, accidents occur more frequently. You can read our recent blog here for more tips on how to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

  • Impaired Drivers. Holiday parties often mean that drinks are flowing and more people may attempt to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.

  • Stress and Aggressive Drivers. Congested roads during busy travel periods and other holiday stressors may lead some drivers to

  • Distracted Drivers. During all the holiday hustle and bustle, drivers may be more distracted behind the wheel and

  • Fatigued Driving. Days are shorter during the winter months and more drivers travel long distances to spend the holidays with families. This typically means more fatigued drivers who are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

  • Inclement Weather. Rain, fog, and other inclement weather in Southern California can hinder visibility, reduce tire traction, and increase the risk of drivers losing control of their vehicles.

  • Neglecting Car Maintenance. Lack of proper car maintenance can mean that your car isn’t operating as you need it to, thereby increasing your risk of getting into a crash.

How to Protect Yourself During Holiday Travels

Knowing what you are up against during the holiday periods is just the first step. The next step is implementing certain safety precautions when you are behind the wheel during this time. Here are a few of our recommendations that can help you and your family stay safe on the road:

  • Reduce your speed and increase your buffer.

  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Do not engage in road rage or aggressive driving behaviors.

  • If you feel yourself getting upset while driving, turn on some relaxing music and practice mindful breathing techniques.

  • Put your cell phone away and on silent so you aren’t tempted to use it while driving.

  • Get your vehicle checked by a mechanic before planning any long-distance road trips.

  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night before driving.

  • Wear a seatbelt and ensure all your passengers do so before driving. Infants and young children should also be


No one anticipates getting into a car accident during the holiday. Unfortunately, our team knows from experience that these accidents are more common than you may expect. If you or a loved one is injured during the holiday season, please know that the team at Manning Law, APC is here to stand in your corner and obtain justice and maximum compensation on your behalf.


Contact our Newport Beach car accident attorneys at (800) 783-5006 for a free case review.