The number of alcohol-related crashes increases drastically during the holiday season. Statistics show that people drink more during the holiday season and, with more people on the road, holiday travels can become deadly. Everyone should be aware of the risks of driving under the influence and strategies to decrease their risk this holiday season.
What Are the Most Deadly Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents?
All automobile accidents are dangerous. However, some types of crashes are more deadly than others. The deadliest types of accidents are:
· Head-on collisions. Head-on collisions are considered to be the most dangerous type of car accident. Although they make up only 2% of accidents, they account for 10% of traffic accident fatalities. They are so deadly because crashing head-on into another moving vehicle can double the impact speed. For example, if both automobiles are traveling at 50 miles per hour, the impact of the two cars would be like hitting a stationary object while traveling at 100 miles per hour.
· Truck accidents. Accidents involving semi-trucks account for around 6.5% of all traffic accidents in the United States. Out of those accidents, 28% result in injuries, and 11% result in fatalities. Semi-trucks are large and can cause severe damage to smaller vehicles.
· DWI Crashes. Around 10,000 people die in alcohol-related crashes each year. Alcohol can also be a contributing factor in other types of crashes. It may also be a factor in head-on collisions and truck accidents.
Why Are DUI Accidents More Common During the Holiday Season?
Many factors account for the increased number of DUI accidents during the holiday season. Around 91 million Americans take road trips between December 23rd and January 1st each year. Further, holiday celebrations lead to social binge-drinking. 16% of adults admit that they drink more during the holiday season. More people on the road mixed with increased alcohol consumption is a recipe for deadly alcohol-related crashes.
40% of car crash fatalities during the winter holidays are alcohol-related. On New Year’s Day, alcohol-related crashes account for 58% of all fatalities. Over the past five years, an average of 300 people have died in DUI accidents between Christmas and New Year’s. Car accident injuries also dramatically increase during the holiday season. Alcohol-related crashes can transform a joyful holiday season into a tragedy.
How Can Drivers Stay Safe?
Although drivers cannot fully avoid the risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash during the holiday season, they can take steps to keep themselves safe. Drivers should:
· Avoid drinking and driving. Driving under the influence is against the law in all 50 states and is extremely dangerous. People can avoid injuring themselves and others if they call an Uber instead of driving under the influence.
· Avoid driving late at night. Most alcohol-related crashes occur at night after people have been at parties or bars.
· Buckle up. Seat belts reduce fatalities in car crashes by up to 45%. They reduce severe injuries by 50%. Wearing a seat belt is a simple step that can save lives.
· Get plenty of sleep. People who drive while drowsy are almost as dangerous as those driving under the influence.
While no one can control the behavior of others, drivers can decrease their risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash this holiday season by taking simple precautions.