While the exact total shifts a little each year, around 110 people a day will die in traffic accidents during three days in December: the day before Christmas, the day of the holiday and the day after. Many more are injured.
Frankly, the entire month of December is actually dangerous to drivers — there’s a lot of distractions out there affecting everyone on the road one way or another:
- Drunk or drugged drivers increase because of the number of holiday parties and liquid “good cheer” around.
- Drowsy drivers are worse during the winter — partially because it takes a long time for some people to adjust to getting up in the dark and coming home again in the dark.
- Distracted driving is a common hazard in December — made worse by the number of holiday decorations and ads screaming about sales and specials.
- Road conditions are subject to sudden changes — it can be dry one minute and suddenly spitting ice and snow the next.
You can take some steps to reduce your chances of being in an accident, even if you can’t control any of those other factors. Experts suggest that you take the following ideas to heart:
- Examine the tread on your tires and get a tune-up. You’re less likely to be in an accident if you’ve got a decent tread on your tires and your brakes are operating properly.
- Get some rest before you hit the road. You don’t want to add to the drowsy driver problem by being one yourself.
- Aim to keep your road trips on during daylight hours. While it isn’t always possible, with the short days and long nights, try to plan any shopping you have for the weekend during the day or take a day off mid-week to do your shopping if you can. Staying off the road at night when visibility is poor and the holiday lights make it even harder to see can reduce your risk of being hit.
If you do end up in a car accident through no fault of your own, consider getting some advice about your legal options before you agree to any insurance settlement. You could be shortchanging yourself, otherwise.
Source: Edmunds.com, “Don’t Be a Traffic Statistic This Holiday Season,” Kathleen Doheny, accessed Dec. 06, 2017