The Dangers of Holiday Commutes
The holiday season is special. It’s a great time to visit relatives, and old friends may be in town. But increased traffic caused by holiday travelers, rainy weather, people driving under the influence, and other factors can make it a hazardous time to drive.
Driving has the highest fatality rate of all the major forms of transportation. In a recent year, over 42,000 people died on our roads and highways. Most of us still have to work during the holiday season, and commutes become more difficult as more people are out driving.
What Causes Holiday Season Accidents?
Whether you’re going to the store to pick up some groceries or driving to your Aunt Beverly’s house in Wisconsin, an accident can happen any time you get behind the wheel. But the holiday season creates special challenges for drivers.
Be sure to watch out for these hazards:
- Slippery roads. December is one of the rainiest months of the year in Arizona. And wet roads get slippery fast, especially if there’s a lot of oil and grease on the road because it hasn’t rained in a while. Wet roads dramatically increase stopping time, leading to more crashes.
- Night driving. Changing seasons means shorter days, so more people are driving in the dark in the mornings and evenings when you’re heading to and from work or dropping the kids off at school.
- Peak travel times. More people are traveling to visit family and friends, and combined with tons of people out shopping, there’s more traffic to slow down your commute and increase risks on the roads.
- Fatigued driving. Traveling to Arizona from other states and regions can be a long drive. People are logging serious hours on their way to Arizona, which may leave them drowsy. Local drivers are also out shopping and seeing friends after work, leading to long days which may cause fatigue.
- DUI. Alcohol and controlled substances diminish a person’s reflexes, vision, reaction time, and judgment. Impaired drivers are dangerous for everyone on the road.
- Tailgating. It’s easy to become impatient when the highways are crowded. But tailgating actually causes traffic to travel more slowly and decreases your reaction time when someone stops ahead of you.
- Distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road for even a moment can have tragic consequences. Texting while driving, using a handheld device, and having a car full of kids or revelers can all lead to dangerous accidents.
- Speeding gives drivers less time to react to hazards and makes collisions more deadly when they occur.
- Unfamiliar roads. People who aren’t from the region may have trouble reacting to local conditions and they could also be distracted by checking the GPS.
The Types of Holiday Accidents
There’s a greater risk of getting hurt when you’re going fast, but whiplash and other serious injuries can occur even when you’re going slow or stopped at a red light. That’s why it’s essential to always be alert behind the wheel.
One place where holiday season collisions occur is in parking lots. They’re very hectic during the holiday season, with a lot of people walking and driving in a small area. Drivers often fail to slow down when they enter a parking lot, and people are likely to be in a hurry to get their shipping done so they can go home and relax.
Frequent holiday season accidents include:
- Rear-end accidents
- Truck jackknife accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Blind spot accidents
- Multi-vehicle pileups
- Unsafe merges and lane changes
Were You Harmed by a Careless Driver?
Mark and Alexis Breyer of The Husband and Wife Law team have won millions of dollars in claims for people who were harmed in automobile crashes. If you were hurt by another person’s negligent actions, you shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical expenses and other costs such as time missed from work.
Call (602) 457-6222 to schedule a FREE consultation today. At The Husband & Wife Law Team, you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
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