As 2021 winds down, eventually giving way to a new year, many Virginia residents will be traveling for the upcoming holidays in November, December, and January. However, that long-anticipated trip to see loved ones could result in catastrophic consequences, considering the higher number of drunk drivers sharing roads.
The dangers of “turkey day”
Somewhat surprisingly, Thanksgiving ranks highest at ninth in the top ten, well over Christmas and New Year’s Day. Over the past three years, fatal accidents numbered 1,173, with the annual average close to 400. The week leading up to the holiday occurring on a Thursday represents the peak of cars traveling along highways.
Some cite the business of the shorter week that creates tensions and impatience, not to mention frenetic shopping on the annual and traditionally chaotic Black Friday” that occurs following the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Add to that busy roads that result in traffic jams that are made worse by motor vehicle collisions.
A new year dawning
New Year’s Day is well behind Thanksgiving but more dangerous than Christmas. The revelry combined with alcohol consumption the night before brings the three-year total to 1,079, with an average fatal crash rate in the wee hours of January 1 at 360.
For many, it is the final day of the holiday break that started on December 24, giving rise to just one more day of alcohol-fueled celebration.
Christmas presents fewer risks
Christmas is considered the safest holiday, with total deaths at 975 over three years of combined fatalities averaging 325. However, that does not mean that travelers should let their guard down while navigating busy roads.
While people are more likely to stay at home, eggnog and other cocktails could lead to drunk drivers on the road, not to mention the last-minute trips for a gift or a missing ingredient for the holiday meal.
While drunk driving numbers increase during the holidays, those traveling while under the influence are on roads every day of the year. When accidents occur, serious injuries are often the result that may require the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.