The Relationship Between Holidays and Car Accidents

Holidays are meant for joy and togetherness, but unfortunately, the reality is that they often coincide with a significant increase in the number of crashes on the road.

It would help a lot if you arm yourself with helpful holiday driving tips to be safe and secure while on the road. The ultimate goal is to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.

Why Are Accidents More Common During Holidays?

Here are some reasons that contribute to the rise of accidents during holidays:

Increased Traffic Volume

During holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, thousands of people visit family and friends, which means there would be more vehicles than usual out on the roads. This increased traffic volume on highways and local roads significantly raises the chances of accidents.

Traffic congestion creates bottlenecks, frustration, and impatient driving, all of which contribute to collisions.

Impaired Driving

Most people consider the holidays a guilt-free pass to consume as much alcohol as their bodies can handle. Unfortunately, some do it even when they have to drive. DUI statistics spike during the holidays, posing a severe threat to everyone on the road.

Distracted Driving

The holiday season can be stressful, with errands, shopping, and social commitments. This stress can lead to distracted driving, where a driver’s attention is diverted from the road.

Using cell phones, eating while driving, or simply being preoccupied with holiday plans can all take a driver’s focus away from the critical task of operating a vehicle safely.

Adverse Weather Conditions

Holidays like Christmas and New Year’s often coincide with winter weather conditions like snow, ice, and rain. These conditions can significantly impact road conditions, reducing visibility and making it harder to control a vehicle.

Unfamiliar Roads

Many people travel to unfamiliar destinations during the holidays. It’s typically difficult to drive on an unfamiliar road while dealing with increased traffic and potentially challenging weather conditions.

The stress and pressure are likely to cause the driver to make mistakes, which can lead to accidents.

Minimizing Your Chances of Getting Involved in a Car Accident Amidst the Holiday Rush

Despite the increased risk factors, there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of being involved in a car accident during the holidays:

  • Plan Your Trip

Before embarking on a holiday trip, you have to plan your route carefully. You can start by considering weather conditions, traffic patterns, and potential rest stops. As you plan, make sure to allow ample travel time to avoid last-minute rushing and frustration.

  • Prepare Your Vehicle

You must make sure that your car is in top condition before a long trip. Get a routine maintenance check, including tire pressure, brakes, lights, and fluid levels.

Perhaps you could winterize your car if you’ll be traveling in areas with cold weather.

  • Designate a Sober Driver

If you plan on attending a holiday party involving alcohol, designate a sober driver beforehand. Or, consider using a ridesharing service or public transportation to avoid driving under the influence.

  • Avoid Distracted Driving

Put your phone away and avoid any activities that divert your attention from the road. Focus on driving and maintain awareness of your surroundings. Let passengers handle tasks like navigation or answering calls.

  • Get Enough Sleep

Plan your travel schedule to ensure you’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel. Avoid driving for long stretches without breaks to prevent fatigue.

If you feel drowsy while driving, pull over to a safe location and take a nap.

  • Adjust Your Driving for the Conditions

Be extra cautious during bad weather conditions. Slow down, increase following distances, and avoid sudden maneuvers. If the weather is severe, consider delaying your trip until conditions improve.

  • Take Advantage of Safety Features

Many modern cars come equipped with advanced safety features like lane departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking. Familiarize yourself with these features and utilize them to enhance your driving safety.