It’s the Most Wonderful (and Deadliest) Time of the Year
Posted: Oct 30, 2019
While it’s easy to assume that New Year’s is the most fatal holiday of the year, many are surprised to learn that it’s Memorial Day that takes the number one spot. So, with the most wonderful time of the year approaching, where do those family centric holidays fall in the rankings? Thanksgiving weekend is the fifth deadliest holiday in the United States followed by New Year’s at number six and then Christmas at number seven.
In 2017, the National Safety Council reported 463 traffic fatalities from Thanksgiving weekend. That number is up 24 fatalities from 2016 and is expected to increase this year as well. The actual number of fatalities for 2018 has yet to be released. While there was a slight decrease in the number of fatalities over the Christmas period from 2016 to 2017, the number was projected to rapidly increase in 2018 (again, the actual number is yet to be released).
Of the three holidays -Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s- the city of Los Angeles was named the deadliest over Thanksgiving weekend. These statistics can be terrifying, but knowledge is power, and the statistics can be a warning to those who indulge in alcohol a bit too much during the holiday season. Further it’s in everyone’s best interest to spread the word to friends and family and make them aware of this deadly potential which will hopefully create a radar of caution in return.
Leading Causes of Accidents
According to the AAA, approximately one in three Americans will hit the roads during the holiday season, with about 102 million Americans behind the wheel of a car and another 6.7 million people traveling by air nationwide. The National Safety Council reports that Thanksgiving traffic begins the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving at about 6 p.m. and usually ends at 11:59 p.m. the Sunday immediately following the holiday. Christmas traffic can start to increase the weekend before the holiday as well and last for up to almost five days, depending on what day of the week Christmas falls on.
You'd be right to assume that quite a few fatalities over the holidays involve alcohol-impaired drivers. After analyzing the reports, the National Safety Council stated that in 2016, out of the traffic related fatalities over Thanksgiving, 34% were involving an alcohol-impaired driver, 32% over Christmas and 29% on New Year's Day.
Another leading cause of the increased risk of accidents during the holiday period is from distracted driving. Distracted driving accounts for approximately 25% of all traffic related fatalities and a shocking 58% of teen car crashes. While cell phones are one of the major culprits, distracted driving can also be from eating or drinking while driving or looking at anything other than the road. Drowsy driving is when a driver has gone a certain amount of time without sufficient sleep and operates a motor vehicle. Driving while drowsy accounts for 17% of traffic fatalities.
Hence, planning your route, ensuring your car is properly maintained and you are well rested before your journey are great ways to prepare for safe travel.
Consult with an Experienced AttorneyIf you were injured in an accident, it’s vital to work with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles who will fight for you and ensure the compensation deserved.
George Anderson is a freelance writer, blogger, and entrepreneur. I love reading, outdoor activities, traveling and staying current with new trends