During the winter months, many people look forward to the cooler weather, the pumpkin spice that permeates the coffee, and the holidays. Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and Day, many days of celebration and enjoyment are packed into three short months. With these celebrations of both family and excess, it is no wonder that some of them are particularly dangerous for drivers. Many factors cause holidays to be some of the most dangerous days of the year. This blog not only covers what holidays one should be on guard for, but also what you can do to stay safe on the roadways during these periods of danger.
Most Dangerous Holidays
The most dangerous holidays, according to the American Safety Council, are:
- The Fourth of July
- New Year’s Day
- Labor Day
- Memorial Day
There are a few reasons why these particular holidays are dangerous: The three key reasons are Drunk Driving, Fatigued Driving, and Distracted Driving.
Around holidays such as Labor Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and the New Year, there is a common theme: alcohol. Whether it is beers next to the barbecue, champagne popped at midnight, or a solemn toast to those lost, alcohol is consumed in large amounts by a lot of people during these holidays. What this means is that during these holidays, there will be drunk drivers on the road in larger quantities than during a normal day of driving. When you’re heading out for a holiday party that will feature drinking, consider having ways of getting home that doesn’t involve driving yourself. If possible, have one person act as a sober driver, someone who doesn’t drink to make sure that they can drive safely. If no one can, and you still plan on drinking, use a rideshare or a can to go to and from the party, making sure that you stay safe by not drinking and driving.
Fatigued driving occurs during holidays when people tend to travel large distances, such as during Christmas or Thanksgiving. If you do not get enough sleep during the evening, you may become fatigued, and that can lead to serious issues. Fatigued drivers suffer from a variety of conditions, such as a reduced reaction time, a narrowing of the peripheral vision known as ‘tunnel vision’, and even microsleeps, where a person falls asleep for seconds at a time. While this may not seem all that bad at first, consider what seconds of zero ability to react would to a person barreling down a highway in a minivan would be like. That is why it is important, critical even, to get enough sleep. If you are planning to drive for long periods of time, make sure to also plan in rest stops, where you can get out of the car, get coffee or other sources of energy, or take short naps. The only way to stop fatigued driving is through sleep.
Distracted driving can be a serious issue during the holidays with all the calls, texts, and phone numbers that people send and receive to plan events. Taking your eyes off the road for any period of time is dangerous, which means that in the space of you looking down to see a text and looking up, you could already be in an accident. Make sure that you silence your phone while driving and refrain from using your car’s onboard media center whenever possible.
Have You Been in an Accident?
Manning Law, APC has years of legal experience advocating for injured car accident victims. We understand how traumatic being involved in a motor vehicle crash can be, and we will do whatever it takes to fight for your rights. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision, contact us for legal assistance.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, contact us today at (800) 783-5006 to schedule a free case consultation.