November 28, 2015
Holiday Auto Accidents
The fall and winter holidays are supposed to be a time of family, festivities, and good cheer. People often decorate their homes, plan trips to see loved ones, attend or host parties, and go on many shopping trips to purchase gifts. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans have their holiday season interrupted by a serious car accident.
The holiday season is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous times to be on the roads or highways because of the statistical rise in collisions during this time. From Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Day, there is a heightened risk of being involved in an accident anytime you leave your home. Not only should you ensure that you drive your own car safely, but you should also be very cautious and aware of other drivers’ actions, as well.
Reasons for higher risks of holiday accidents
There are many different reasons why experts speculate that the number of traffic-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities increase during the holiday season. The following are some examples:
More traffic – The holidays are known for their hustle and bustle. People have time off work, kids are off school, and many people are out and about on the roads. In addition, many people travel by car to visit loved ones, which increases the amount of traffic on the highways. Many types of accidents can stem from traffic congestion and accidents even occur in crowded parking lots. In addition, many drivers may be in a hurry and may become impatient with the increased traffic and aggressive driving  behaviors may lead to accidents.
Impaired driving – Many holiday gatherings involve drinking alcoholic beverages, from spiked cider and eggnog to champagne and more. Unfortunately, many holiday revelers fail to plan for alternate forms of transportation home from the parties or bars, which leads to a significant increase in drunk drivers on the roads. In response to this increase of drinking and driving during the holidays, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has instituted a program called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”  The program provides for increased enforcement of DUI laws around Thanksgiving, in the weeks leading up to the December holidays, as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. By increasing enforcement, not only do authorities hope to stop drunk drivers before they cause accidents but also to deter people from getting behind the wheel after they have been drinking.
Unfamiliar roads – For many people, the holidays mean traveling and a large number of people choose to travel by car. This often means that more individuals will be driving on highways and roads with which they are not familiar. Drivers may not be aware of unexpected intersections, traffic signal placement, sharp curves, and more. Furthermore, trying to check directions on a phone or GPS can often cause a driver to be distracted, as well, which can lead to serious collisions.
Winter weather – Many people look forward to snow around the winter holidays, however, show, ice, and sleet can create extremely dangerous conditions on the roads at a time when traffic is already a problem. In any type of adverse weather, drivers are expected to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner for the weather conditions. This may mean that drivers should slow down below the posted speed limit or take other precautions to avoid losing control of their cars and causing a collision. Unfortunately, many drivers continue to drive recklessly on snowy or icy roads and devastating accidents can result.
The above are only a few examples of reasons why accidents and injuries increase over the holidays.
Call a Philadelphia car accident lawyer for a free consultation
If your holiday season is interrupted due to serious injuries sustained in a car accident, your first call should be to an experienced auto accident attorney in Philadelphia who can advise you whether you have the legal right to financially recover. At The Levin Firm, we will thoroughly evaluate your situation and, if another party was at fault in your collision, we will help you through the entire legal process so that you will not add any additional stress during your already difficult recovery. We can assist you in dealings with insurance companies or in filing a legal claim if it is necessary for your to receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. Please do not hesitate to call 215-825-5183 to schedule your free consultation today.