As the 2023 holiday season approaches, the excitement to reunite with family and friends often leads to a surge of travelers on the road. While these reunions are the epitome of joy, the increased traffic also heightens the risk of vehicular accidents. The intertwining of excitement and the escalating risks on the road necessitates a mindful approach toward holiday travel planning. It’s imperative to juxtapose the joy of the season with caution as holiday car travel is also renowned for traffic jams and stressed drivers. Through prudent measures, adherence to safety measures, and stress relief tactics, we can significantly mitigate the risks and ensure a joyful and safe holiday experience.
Do car accidents increase around the holidays?
According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) annual Holiday Outlook report, holiday travel in 2023 looks to remain strong. The report shows that:
- 47 percent of consumers will travel this holiday season.
- 60 percent of consumers plan to take a trip within their state.
In addition, a survey by IPX found that:
- 2 in 3 people said they’re more likely to drive if gas prices decrease
- 44 percent of people will be traveling for Thanksgiving
- 84% are traveling in December
With all that traveling, the risk of accidents on the road increases. Car travel has the highest fatality rate based on fatalities per passenger mile. When you add together holiday traffic numbers, weary and stressed motorists, and alcohol consumption, the risks become even higher. For example, The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 408 people may die on U.S. roads during the 2023-2024 New Year’s Day holiday period. This does not include the total number of accidents or injuries that will occur.
It’s always important to drive safely and to remember the basic rules of the road. This includes avoiding driving under the influence, wearing seat belts, and ensuring vehicles are in good condition before hitting the road.
Tips to Avoid Holiday Season Car Accidents
To avoid getting in a car accident this holiday season, we recommend the following.
Check Your Tires
The Florida Department for Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends that drivers check their tires before embarking on holiday car travel. Individuals should check the tread depth and tire pressure while ensuring a spare tire is readily available in case of a flat tire or blowout. Tires that are in proper working order are often a driver’s first line of defense in a car accident.
Do Not Drive Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Every forty-five minutes one person in the United States dies in a drunk driving accident. Sixteen percent of car accidents involve at least one driver under the influence of legal or illegal drugs. Those figures tend to increase during the holiday season.
Before heading to holiday festivities, individuals should choose a designated driver or secure a rideshare service. Designated drivers should refrain from having any alcoholic beverages or taking drugs. If possible, party-goers should choose celebrations that occur during the day, as most holiday driving fatalities occur at night when drivers’ vision is impaired due to decreased lighting and an increase in drunk drivers.
Always Wear a Seatbelt
Drivers and passengers who wear safety belts are more likely to survive should a car accident occur. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that an additional 2,549 lives could have been saved in 2017 if every individual had chosen to wear a seatbelt when riding in a motor vehicle. Federal Law states that all drivers, front-seat passengers, and any passengers under the age of eighteen, wear a safety belt or child restraint.
Follow Speed Limits
When a driver chooses to drive over the speed limit, the chance of being involved in a car accident increases. In fact, the National Center For Health Research found that higher speed limits were associated with an increased likelihood of “death and incapacitating injuries”. As speed limits can change throughout a drive, drivers should always be mindful of following any changes in the speed limit and continuously adjust their speed accordingly.
New Auto Safety Technologies 2023
While we must adhere to basic road safety protocols, we can also embrace new technologies to help us stay safe.
We want to caution you to never rely on these technologies alone, however, these are some top auto safety features in 2023 that you should be aware of.
- Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) – Using cameras and sensors, these systems have been shown to have a 27% reduction in bodily injury claim frequency and a 19% reduction in property damage frequency according to research by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
- Telematics – Telematics systems provide real-time feedback on driving behavior, thereby enabling drivers to make informed decisions on the road. Additionally, insurance companies are leveraging telematics data to encourage safer driving habits.
- Smartphone Applications and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Communication – These technologies assist drivers by providing timely alerts about traffic jams, accidents, and other road conditions, which can help motorists prevent road hazards.
Holiday Accident Attorneys Advocating For You and Your Family
Panter, Panter & Sampedro hope you keep these safety tips in mind as you enjoy a safe holiday season with your loved ones. However, if the unexpected does occur, our experienced car accident attorneys can work with you one-on-one to help you get the justice, recovery, and compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (305) 662-6178 to speak to a dedicated attorney.
At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we work on a contingency basis which means you don’t pay unless we win. For over 35 years, we have represented thousands of clients, however, our philosophy is bigger is not always better meaning that when you work with us, you will work directly with one of our attorneys and not a case manager. Contact us today.