2021 Holiday Season Brings Out Dangers on the Road, Here's How You Can Avoid Accidents During The Holiday Season
Kansas City Crash Lawyer, Doug Horn, Aims to Curb December Accidents
For many, the holiday season doesn’t just bring happiness and joy, it also brings anxiety and strain.
Lack of time, over-commercialization, gift-giving pressure, family get-togethers, travel hassles, and worry about getting time off are just some of the manifestations of holiday stress.
When it comes to driving and road safety, the holidays also bring more car accidents and car accident-related injuries.
With the holidays upon us, millions of Americans will hit the road to shop, visit friends and family, and travel. Being aware of the increased dangers of driving during the holiday period can help you avoid costly and potentially serious car accidents.
The National Safety Council alerted that
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year are among
the most dangerous holidays for drivers.
Thanks to over 30 years of experience as a personal injury attorney in Kansas City, I have detailed seven reasons that make the holiday period a more dangerous driving environment than normal.
Being aware of these reasons can help you avoid costly and potentially serious car accidents this holiday.
7 Reasons Why the Holidays Increase the Risk of Car Accidents
- One of the primary reasons we see more car accidents during the holidays is increased traffic volumes. During the holidays, million of people shop and travel. The higher traffic volumes cause common roads and highways to be congested, which in turn increases the possibility of a collision or accident. This in itself is an important factor however coupled with the other 6 on this list makes holiday driving that much more dangerous.
- Adding to the already increased traffic volume, as more and more people shop online, the holiday season also sees a major increase in delivery vehicles on the road. This increase translates into even more congestion and in turn higher collision rates. It is expected that the amount of delivery vehicles on the road will increase by more than 28% this year.
- As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, more and more people are starting to experience what I call “holiday stress”. Stressed and pressured drivers who are driving in a hurry, distracted, and not fully aware are more likely to get into an accident. This is most likely one of the most important factors. To avoid getting accidents this holiday, try to organize your errands and shopping destinations ahead of time and be sure to glove-box your cell phone, buckle up, and stay extra alert while on the road.
- Another major factor is road conditions. In Kansas City, the holiday period is accompanied by colder weather, rain, ice, snow, and sleet. These sometimes harsh weather conditions have play a key role in increased driving dangers during the holiday.
- During the holiday period many Americans choose to visit their families. Fatigued drivers who have been driving for many hours tend to be less aware and their reaction times are dulled.
- Apart from fatigued drivers there is also another factor the has to do with people traveling over the holidays. People visiting family and friends during the holidays will be driving on roads they are not very familiar with. Running errands, going shopping, or going out on unfamiliar roads can also increase the chances of a car accident.
- Last but not least, alcohol consumption also greatly increases during the holiday period and unfortunately, Kansas City also sees a significant increase in drunk drivers on the road. If you plan to drink during the holidays do not drive.
3 Areas That Require Increase Driver Awareness During the Holidays
Knowing the main causes of car accidents during the holiday season can help you drive safer and avoid accidents. However, it’s also important to understand where most of these accidents happen.
If you also understand the main “trouble” spots you can exude additional caution and alertness while in these areas.
With more stressed and distracted drivers on highways during the holiday period, the chances of getting into accidents are higher. Additionally, due to highway speed limits, accidents can be more serious.
In Kansas City, interstate 435 is one of the more dangerous highways during the holiday season, particularly at I-70. Interstate 670 can also pose increased risks due to the increase in traffic.
But no matter what highway you take during this holiday, stick to the speed limit and use extra caution while driving. Avoid distractions such as your cell phone and although you may have a long list of things to do or buy, try to stay composed and as organized as possible to minimize stress.
The holiday need for gifts and entertainment means a lot of shopping.
During Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years shopping centers are usually flooded with traffic and people. With congestion at an all-time high, even parking your car can become dangerous near a shopping center. Add to the mix an increase in pedestrians, shopping carts, and children, and shopping centers and outlets become the perfect mix for a car accident.
The Brookside Shops, the Crown Center, Country Plaza, Oak Parks Mall, Legends Outlets, and many more shopping centers will require an increased awareness towards driver safety during the holiday season. To avoid accidents outside a shopping center, make sure to pay careful attention as a driver, to other cars, and to pedestrian shoppers.
In Kansas City, the downtown streets become even busier and more congested during the holidays.
The many distractions, lights, and pedestrians can lead to dangerous driving conditions. While long-time residents will have a hard time navigating through the busier than usual downtown streets, visiting drivers who are not familiar with the one-way streets can add an additional safety issue.
To avoid accidents while driving downtown, cautiously navigate the streets, drive below the speed limit, and pay particular attention while making your way through streets such as 11th and 12th avenue and from Wyandotte St to Troost Ave.
Auto Accident Statistics for Holiday Drivers
Here are some statistics from the National Safety Council that may help you increase your awareness of the increased risks of driving, and better prepare as a driver this holiday season:
- In 2014, AAA estimated that 46.3 million Americans took to the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday.
- In 2010-2011, Progressive reported a double in the number of claims on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).
- During December, auto accident claims increase by as much as 20 percent over the rest of the year.
- Over the Christmas holiday, 30 percent of Americans are expected to travel, with many choosing to drive.
- Almost half of all fatal auto accidents over the New Year’s holiday are related to drinking and driving.
These statistics are not meant to scare you but are meant to help convey the importance of driving safely during the holiday period.
Kansas City Crash Lawyer Taking Aim to Curb December Accidents
How The A, B, C and Ds of Driving Are More Important Than Ever Before
As a crash lawyer in Kansas City, I have made it part of my mission to help improve driver safety and awareness through a program that I call the A, B, C, and Ds of driving.
Due to the heightened risk of car accidents during the holidays, the A, B, C, and Ds of driving become that much more important.
Driving Alert, Buckled, Cautious, and Defensive.
By driving alert, buckled, cautious, and defensive, you can effectively avoid a car accident, no matter how dangerous or congested roads and parking lots can be.
If, however, you have been the victim of a traffic collision during the holiday season and find yourself injured, contact Horn Law. As one of Kansas City’s premier personal injury attorneys, I can help you assess the situation and determine if you are entitled to file a case or recover damages.
About Doug Horn
Douglas R. Horn is the Lead Attorney of The Horn Law Firm, P.C. where he exclusively represents persons who are injured in accidents, including cases arising from motor vehicle collisions, work & industrial accidents, and dangerous conditions.
Since 1991, Horn has compiled a track record of success in obtaining maximum recovery for his clients, concentrating in cases involving neck, back, and spinal injuries, head/brain trauma, fractures, injuries requiring extended medical care, and catastrophic injury.
As Horn’s law practice has increasingly focused on motor vehicle accident law and crash litigation, he also dedicates a significant amount of his work to the advancement of driver safety, particularly in the area of teen driver protection.
In addition to his law practice, Horn frequently presents on personal injury law to national attorney audiences, including strategies to maximize legal recovery for traumatic brain injury, neck, back, and spinal injury, orthopedic injury, and complex/catastrophic injury.