December always ranks as one of the top months of the year for car crashes, but in the past four years winter holiday auto accidents have spiked in Florida.
Consider these crash and injury statistics.
Total crashes: 317,352
Total injuries: 211,144
Estimated total crashes in December 2013: 28,000
Total crashes: 344,579
Total injuries: 225,779
Estimated total crashes in December 2014: 31,000
Total crashes: 374,782
Total injuries: 243,529
Estimated total crashes in December 2015: 34,000
Total crashes: 395,834
Total injuries: 254,170
Estimated total crashes in December 2016: 34,000
As you can see, the numbers in the month of
December have gone up by 6,000 in just a few short years. Moreover, since a single crash can cause any number of injuries, those additionally affected likely number in the tens of thousands.
Why has December become even more dangerous?
The Dangers Inherent in December Driving
Crashes are prevalent at the end of the year for several reasons.
Extra traffic on the road. More people are out shopping, visiting with family, and socializing between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The more vehicles on the road at one time, the greater the potential is for accidents to occur.
Inclement weather. This can be another big reason some years. Hurricane season can lead to flooded roads and tougher driving conditions, which can cause accidents.
A spike in alcohol use. This may very well be the biggest reason. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that on an average day in the United States, 36 people die due to crashes that involve a drunk driver.
However, during the three-day Christmas holiday that number raises to 45 deaths per day, and during the New Year’s holiday, the number climbs even higher to an average of 54 deaths per day.
Why Is There So Much Drinking in December?
The answer is fairly straightforward and obvious if you think about it. Family and friends gather together more in celebration between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Many of those celebrations involve alcohol use, and unfortunately too many people leave those celebrations and drive home while inebriated.
This isn’t just hearsay. There are stats to back it up:
- Sixteen percent of adults say they drink more during the holidays than at other times of the year.
- Fifty-one percent of drunk drivers drink more during the holidays than usual.
- Half of all adults say that alcohol is present at family gatherings during the holidays.
- Ninety-six percent of adults showed up for work hung over the day after a party or claim to know someone who did.
Drunk driving causes 40 percent of all automobile crashes during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, which is a 12 percent increase over the rest of December, according to the U. S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The NHTSA also says that Saturdays are the most dangerous day of the week to drive. Over 30 percent of drunk driving fatalities happen on the weekend, and the most likely time of day for an accident to occur is between 12:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Pedestrian deaths also spike on the weekend, particularly if pedestrians are intoxicated.
If you suffer injury this holiday season at the hands of someone driving while intoxicated or otherwise operating their vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner, you need help from an experienced Florida auto accident attorney who has a successful track record handling these types of cases. Contact us today to learn more about fighting for the compensation you deserve.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.