Losing someone during the holidays can be extremely painful. Every year when the holiday comes and goes, it is a reminder of that painful event. Your friend of loved one did not die of cancer, or a heart attack, they died in a car accident during a time when family and friends come together and celebrate. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the leading causes of auto accident injuries and deaths in the United States during the Holidays.
Thanksgiving Holiday Period
Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled weekend in the United States. DUI arrest is at their highest between the Thanksgiving weekend and new years. The eve before thanksgiving, otherwise known as black Wednesday, is the busiest time of the year for bars. More high volumes of alcohol are consumed in this period ( binge drinking). Thanksgiving is a little easier to keep accident data on because it falls on the same day every year.
For the Thanksgiving holiday period, fatalities rose 42% on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Fatalities were normal on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday following the holiday. It is estimated by NTSB that there will be 437 traffic fatalities from crashes during thanksgiving holiday period for the 2015 thanksgiving period. The number of people traveling is at its highest on this day, combined with the number of people binge drinking does not make for safe travels.
Thanksgiving Nonfatal injuries
Nonfatal injuries are defined as injuries that are serious enough to seek medical care. The estimated number of injuries this year (2016) is between 44,100 and 57,200 for the thanksgiving holiday period.
Christmas falls on different days on the week so data may be higher or lower from year to year. More travelers on the road can always lead to more accidents. 41% of all Christmas Holiday Accidents involve alcohol. Christmas day accidents are minimal compared to Christmas eve. During Christmas day, most people are spending time with family and friends. Christmas Eve parties and consuming alcohol lead to higher DUI arrest and auto accidents.
259 to 362 traffic deaths
Christmas Holiday Injuries
The estimate of the number of nonfatal injuries that will result from crashes during the Christmas holiday period is 37,200 with a range of 31,300 to 43,700.
New Year’s Holiday
71% of New Year’s accidents are alcohol and drug related. You have more of chance getting into an accident between the hours of 6PM December 31st and 6AM January 1 during the New Year Holiday. January 1st had the highest number of alcohol related accident deaths than any other holiday.
Fatalities During New Years
New Year period estimate: 367 to 481 traffic deaths.
Non fatal Accident Injuries during New Years
The number of nonfatal injuries that will result from crashes during the New Year holiday period is 45,000 with a range of 39,300 to 51,400
How you can make a difference during the holiday season.
- Call the police if you suspect someone of drunk driving
- Call a friend or family member to take you home
- Spend the night at a friend or family member.
- Never allow someone who has been drinking heavily to get in the driver’s seat of a vehicle.
- When hosting a Party, be responsible and help guests arrange transportation. Hosts could be held responsible if someone leaves their home and kills or hurts someone in an alcohol related collision.
- Never ride with someone else who has been drinking.
- If hosting a party, take everyone’s keys
- Call Uber
- Make everyone submit to a breathalyzer before they can get there keys back
The holidays should be a time for celebrating good memories, not bad ones. We can all do something to make this holiday a little safer for us and others. The stats we used were from 2015. Accident data does not come available for 1-2 years.