The holidays are a time of joy, giving and celebration, but all of that can be taken away in a devastating holiday driving accident.
The University of Alabama’s recent research reveals that driving during the holiday season is markedly more dangerous when compared to other times of year. The recent research data and real-life harm of holiday driving underscores the need for holiday drivers to exercise extreme caution during the holiday season.
Alabama’s Holiday Accident Data and Research
The University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety conducted extensive research over a 10-year period in order to determine the safety of Alabama roads over the holidays. The study divided Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s into separate six-day periods, and the trends researchers found were startling.
Researchers concluded that the heavy traffic surrounding all three holidays, combined with the general business of holidays, markedly increased the chances of an accident. While there was an uptick in accidents during each six-day holiday period, the Christmas period was particularly perilous.
For example, in 2012, there were an eye-opening 1,996 crashes between December 21st and the 26th, with 10 of those accidents being fatal. By comparison, the Thanksgiving period saw 1,698 crashes and 9 fatalities, whereas the New Year’s period had 1,552 accidents and 10 fatalities. This trend remained fairly constant throughout the other years of data. This data indicates that on any given year, the Christmas holiday period sees around 20 percent more car accidents compared to the other holidays, which are already more dangerous than non-holiday driving periods.
Despite this, traveling on the actual holiday is actually the safest time to be driving, likely because of the fact that most people have already arrived at their holiday destination, reducing congestion and traffic on Alabama roads.
The Real-Life Harm of Alabama Accidents Over the Holiday Season
The data outlined in the Center for Advanced Public Safety’s study reflects more than just a set of alarming statistics. It also reflects the real-life harm of Alabama accidents during the holidays. Over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday period alone, there were another 9 Alabama fatalities arising from holiday driving accidents.
The holidays are a time to give thanks and spend time with family, but Alabamans should also ensure that they drive carefully and stay alert this holiday season.
In order to reduce holiday accidents, the Center for Advanced Public Safety recommended the following based on their research:
- Avoid driving in inclement weather since these holiday periods may coincide with high traffic and dangerous road conditions
- Do not drink and drive, but also consider avoiding the roads in evenings when it is likely that other Alabama drivers might be driving while impaired
- Use safety restraints on any trip, no matter the distance
- Avoid responding to friends and family while driving. While the holidays are a time to be with family, road distractions increase the risk of a devastating accident
- Try to finish your Christmas shopping as early as possible to avoid the higher levels of Alabama traffic during the Christmas shopping frenzy
If you or a loved one is a victim of a holiday accident, you need an Alabama accident attorney with a proven record of success. Noel B. Leonard helps clients in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties receive the compensation they deserve after an accident, helping them on their path towards recovery. Call 251-943-8638 or contact Noel B. Leonard to receive a legal consultation.