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Be Aware Of Drunk Drivers During The Holidays

By Kelly Balamuth on December 5, 2019

It stands to reason that the odds of being involved in a traffic crash increases when there are more cars on the road. With more alcohol-impaired drivers sharing the roadways over the holidays, the odds increase exponentially. Not only are there more people traveling to visit family and friends from Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s Day, but people are more inclined to consume alcoholic beverages when they come together to celebrate.

Facts About Drunk Driving During the Holidays

Holidays are the time for family, friends, food — and drinking. Thanksgiving Eve (the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving) is one of the biggest nights of the year for alcohol consumption, according to Scram Systems. Bars report 270% sales increases for beer and 114% sales increases for liquor.

One-third of all traffic fatalities over Thanksgiving in a recent year involved drunk drivers. In the five-year period from 2012 to 2016, more than 800 people in the U.S. died in alcohol-impaired traffic accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday, from 6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Drunk Driving Statistics During the Holidays

During most of the year, drunk drivers cause approximately 28% of all traffic fatalities, as stated in a Scram Systems publication. During the holidays, however, drunk driving accidents account for 40% of all traffic deaths.

  • 7 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more last Thanksgiving.
  • 103 million people were traveling on U.S. roadways between December 23 and January 3.
  • Two to three times more people die in alcohol-related crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
  • Approximately 1,200 traffic deaths will occur during the holidays.
  • In addition to drunk driving fatalities, approximately 25,000 people will be injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by alcohol impairment.

Tips from NHTSA for Making It Home Safely

NHTSA is urging the public to take precautions to avoid drunk driving accidents so they can make it to the table for holiday dinners. The agency recommends:

  • Planning ahead and appointing a designated driver before the first drink.
  • Using a rideshare service, taxi, public transportation, or a community sober ride program if necessary to get home safely.
  • Downloading NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app (on Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices). This app will allow you to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and it will identify your location so you can be picked up for a safe ride home.
  • Contacting local law enforcement if you see a drunk driver on the road.
  • Always wear your seat belt, whether you are driving or a passenger.

Get Legal Help If You Have Been Injured by a Drunk Driver

Some drunk driving accidents are unavoidable for victims. If you or your loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, call Balamuth Law at (925) 254-1234 or toll-free at (888) 254-1234 as soon as possible. Our San Francisco, California personal injury attorneys are aggressive advocates for drunk driving victims.

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Posted in: Auto Collision

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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