Holiday Festivities Increase the Risk of Accidents
For most Americans, the holidays represent an opportunity to spend more time with loved ones, reflect on the past year, and celebrate new beginnings. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s certainly give us plenty of reason to spread holiday cheer, but unfortunately – the holidays also show a sharp uptick in accidents.
We’ll look at the statistics around why there are more accidents and which holiday has the greatest number each year.
Holiday Crash Statistics
Heading over to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), you will find the state authorities do an excellent job of keeping accident statistics records and making them easily accessible to the public.
Looking at Traffic Crash Reports on the FHSMV Crash Dashboard, November 2021 saw 34,347 crashes across Florida. Comparatively, December 2021 logged 35,917 total accidents in Florida. One month later, in January 2022, there were 31,599 crashes.
That means December saw the most crashes, with November second and January third. On a national level, the AAA pegs the Thanksgiving season in November as the most dangerous holiday for drivers. An increased number of drivers traveling for Thanksgiving presents more chances for accidents. For Thanksgiving 2022, the AAA estimates there were 54.6 million drivers who traveled 50 miles or more. Combined with the increased alcohol consumption associated with holiday festivities, you have a recipe for tragedy.
What Holiday Is the Deadliest for Drivers?
Next up in our holiday accident head-to-head, we’ll look at which holiday has the highest fatalities and what factors experts think are contributing to the surge (such as number of days each holiday runs, social behavior, etc.).
From highest to lowest, the deadliest holidays for drivers are:
- Thanksgiving 2022: According to the National Safety Council, as many as 518 people are expected to have been killed on U.S. roads in 2022 during the Thanksgiving holiday season. The NSC defined that period as the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving through Sunday (a total of 4.25 days is always compared, which means this period may run longer than Christmas or New Year’s, depending on the year). If the NSC’s estimates hold, that will make this Thanksgiving the deadliest since 2007.
The NSC also looked at traffic accident fatalities related to alcohol consumption and found that the percentage of deaths is higher over the Thanksgiving holiday than the rest of the year. Another factor is that most travelers choose to go by car, which has the highest fatality rate of all major forms of transportation per passenger mile, says the NSC.
- New Year 2022: While ushering in 2022, the NSC estimated 427 people will have lost their lives. As with Christmas, the New Year’s holiday varies from 1.25 to 4.25 days. The 2021-2022 New Year holiday lasted 3.25 days. Alcohol and more road travelers are the two most significant contributing factors to bad accidents during NYE.
- Christmas 2021: The NSC estimates pegged Christmas holiday traffic fatalities as 371 for 2021, which can run from 1.25 days to 4.25 days depending on when Christmas occurs each year. For 2021, there were 3.25 days counted for the holiday. That fact can lessen the number of fatalities counted during the Christmas holiday season. As with Thanksgiving, many travelers choose to travel by car, and throwing in alcohol consumption only increases the chances of severe accidents.
Thanksgiving takes the cake with the highest number of deaths, but there are a few caveats. First, the number of days counted in the fatality estimates was highest for Thanksgiving. Second, 2020 and 2021 all but saw holiday travel cease across much of the U.S. The NSC’s estimates for Christmas rely on 2021 data, at a time when COVID-19 still affected many families’ travel plans.
What Do You Do If You Have a Car Accident on Christmas?
The holidays offer unique opportunities to celebrate with friends and loved ones, but they also present a lot of stress for many people. In all the commotion, the last thing on your list should be dealing with an auto accident. At Farah and Farah, after seeing time and again where drivers’ insurance companies delay, underpay or outright deny a rightful auto claim, we know what it takes to get the best recovery possible.
Maximizing your recovery requires a few proactive steps. If you’re ever in an accident, even on a holiday, the following can help strengthen your case:
- Call emergency services and seek medical attention if necessary.
- Get a copy of the police report and keep this along with all medical records from treatment.
- Take videos and pictures of the damage and the accident scene.
- Talk to witnesses and get their names and contact information.
- Report the accident to your insurance carrier but don’t sign anything or say too much. They may try to use this to downplay your claim later.
- Get the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
Hurt in a Holiday Collision? We’ll Still Be Here
Drunk driving and DUI accidents around the holidays compound the dangers for roads already facing a surge in drivers. But our team of car accident attorneys are still available to help you through it, whether on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s Day. Having an accident on a holiday is bad enough; let our team take over your case while you focus on healing and being with your loved ones.
Accidents don’t go by the clock, so neither do we. You can contact our team any time of the day or night, weekend or holiday, and a friendly, knowledgeable Farah and Farah representative will be available to help you start the road to recovery.
Important Disclaimer: Farah and Farah acknowledges that our team of top-tier legal talent is not a news outlet or media company. Rather, we are a group of dedicated professionals with a long list of huge wins for our clients facing vehicle accidents. We present facts and events like the above to delve into the details from a legal perspective. To do that and be timely, we rely on the facts and information available whenever a post goes live. This may mean certain facts can change if/when new details emerge. Our sole intent is to help educate and empower the public with information they can use if they find themselves in a similar situation.