As the upcoming holiday season approaches, many people will be attending celebrations and parties thrown by family, friends and co-workers. Statistically, you stand the greatest chance to be involved in a car accident during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. This is due to a number of reasons, such as road congestion and winter weather.

It’s important to prepare for the season ahead, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Our team at Herrmann Law Group have put together guide to help you understand the dangers of holiday driving and how to prevent a vehicle accident this season.

Snow on Evergreen Tree in Washington

Holiday Driving Statistics

The Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel times during the year. According the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 91 percent of long-distance holiday travel is by car.

In 2016, the National Safety Council published a report that showed the Thanksgiving holiday period traffic fatalities for the year prior. There were 3,049 traffic deaths in the month of November nationwide in the year prior. Out of those, 391 occurred during the four-day Thanksgiving period. New Year’s Day saw 421 fatalities and Christmas was 307.

Common Risks of Holiday Driving

There are a number of reasons why the holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for driving. Road congestion contributes significantly to the number of car accidents. Naturally, with more vehicles on the road, you have a greater risk of getting into a collision.

Driving under the influence during the holidays is unfortunately common, as people will be traveling to and from celebrations after consuming alcohol. Another factor to consider is drowsy driving. Drivers can easily find themselves exhausted after a long day with family or driving long distances.

Being that the holiday season coincides with fall and winter, inclement weather can also play a huge role in traffic accidents. With snow and icy on the roadway, many drivers may not be properly prepared for winter driving.

How to Stay Safe During Holiday Driving

There are a few things you can do to stay safe when on the roads this season. For example, designate a sober driver if you’re going to consume alcohol at a party. Ridesharing services, such as Uber or Lyft are another convenient option for getting home safely. Even an expensive taxi cab is better than risking your life and others behind the wheel.

Make sure your vehicle is in working order before hitting the road and perform regular maintenance. Your vehicle should be equipped with the proper tires or chains if you plan to drive in winter conditions. We also suggest checking weather reports before you heading out the door.

While you are driving, keep in mind that you should only be going as fast as road conditions will permit. Leave plenty of room between yourself and the car ahead of you and only drive as fast as the road conditions will permit.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Washington Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident this holiday season, give us a call at 253-627-8142 or schedule a free consultation. While we have two convenient office locations in Tacoma and Seattle, we represent clients all around Washington. Over the years, we’ve fought hard for the rights of our clients who have suffered injuries in car accidents. One of our attorneys will meet with you and be able to advise on your rights and the best way to proceed with your accident case.