Auto Insurance Alert: Driving Risks Increase During the Holidays

Holiday driving can turn deadly in a second. If you’re going home for holidays, make sure you don’t get into a crash on the way. Drive extra safe, make sure your vehicle is in good condition and protect yourself with great auto insurance.  Here’s why it matters:

Fatalities Are Up

Traffic fatalities increase during holiday periods. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has used historical crash rates to predict estimated crash rates for the 2019 holiday periods. Based on their estimates, we can expect the following:

  • 454 fatalities during the 2019 Thanksgiving period that starts on Wednesday and ends on Cyber Monday
  • 799 fatalities during the period from Christmas to New Year’s Day

 Drunk Driving Increases

There are many reasons why traffic fatalities increase during the holidays, including an increase in highway traffic. Another problem is drunk driving.

Many people’s holiday celebrations include alcohol. When these people drive home after drinking, deadly crashes can result.

  • Between 2012 and 2016, 14,472 people died in traffic crashes during the month of December, and 28 percent of these crashes involved drunk driving – that’s 3,995 lives lost in the month of December alone.
  • Each year, approximately 300 people die in crashes involving drunk driving between Christmas and New Year’s.

Bad Weather Complicates the Journey

While intoxicated drivers are responsible for many holiday traffic fatalities, Mother Nature deserves some of the blame, too. During cold winter weather, ice and snow can make roads slippery. Black ice and icy bridges can be especially dangerous since they often take drivers by surprise.

  • Over a 10-year period, 21 percent of all crashes were weather-related. That’s more than one out of five crashes.
  • According to the Weather Channel, weather-related vehicle crashes kill more people each year than large-scale natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. Don’t underestimate how dangerous winter roads can be.

Five Safe Driving Reminders

The roads can be dangerous this time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid traveling. You should, however, keep these safe driving tips in mind and get great auto insurance, if you don’t already have it.

  1. Prepare for winter weather. Check the weather report and give yourself extra time. Also make sure that your vehicle and tires are in good conditions and you’ve packed emergency supplies. You may need to slow down and give other cars on the road extra space.
  2. Don’t drive drunk. Drunk driving fatalities are 100 percent avoidable. If you’re going to drink, make arrangements for a sober ride home, whether it’s a designated driver, public transportation, a taxi, an Uber or a Lyft. It might seem expensive, but it’s much less than what you’d pay for a DUI conviction. According to the NHTSA, the average DUI arrest can cost $10,000 including attorney fees, fines, court costs and other expenses.
  3. Don’t get in the car if the driver is intoxicated. Find another ride. Plan ahead for this possibility while you’re still sober.  
  4. Don’t drive distracted. Distracted driving kills about nine people every day. Driving is too dangerous to attempt while multitasking. You need to look out for pedestrians, ice, drunk drivers and other unexpected road hazards.
  5. Follow the rules of the road. Speeding is always dangerous, but it’s even more of a risk when roads are bad.

All of us at Insurance Line One wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Sources
  • https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812823

  • https://www.transportation.gov/www.transportation.gov/TransportationTuesday/holiday-drunk-driving-facts

  • https://www.nhtsa.gov/winter-driving-safety

  • https://weather.com/safety/winter/news/weather-fatalities-car-crashes-accidents-united-states

  • https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/q1_roadimpact.htm

  • https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html

  • https://www.nhtsa.gov/drunk-driving/holiday-season-drive-sober-or-get-pulled-over

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