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New York Roads See an Increase in Accidents During the Holiday Season

Car hits a tree

The holidays are a wonderful time to see friends and family and to celebrate at parties all season long. Many of you will likely also be taking long drives to see far-flung family members, towing a car-full of kids and gifts along with you. Unfortunately, the holiday season is witness to a greater than average rate of auto accidents, and tends to see a higher fatality rate than most other times of year. Below, learn more about what makes the winter holidays a more dangerous time to drive, and be sure to drive with greater than average caution while you’re on the roads this season.

  • Holiday parties bring an increase in alcohol-related crashes

Celebrations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s all bring a greater consumption of alcohol. While holidays are always associated with greater accident rates, the rate of fatal injuries received from those accidents goes up when the holidays are associated with heavy drinking. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that around 36 drivers are killed each day in an alcohol-related collision. However, that number jumps to 45 alcohol-related fatalities on the days surrounding Christmas, and to 54 on the days surrounding New Year’s Eve. Each Year, the private safety research group National Research Council will issue an estimate on the number of accidents that will occur on major holidays. One important factor in this calculation is the day of the week on which the holidays fall. This year, Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Fridays. Typically, a holiday leading into a weekend results in greater drunk driving injuries, as drivers do not have to think about being well enough for work the following day.

  • Lots of seasonal distractions increase the chances of an accident

Between shopping for presents in overcrowded shopping centers, throwing holiday parties, and time spent with family, the holiday season brings with it a host of distractions and distracted driving-related accidents. Additionally, roadways can be crowded with drivers visiting family and friends on long road trips, which necessarily brings a greater risk of accidents. Finally, as teens are on extended breaks from high school and college, they tend to fill that free time with drives to visit friends. These younger drivers tend to have higher accident rates, being more prone to distraction and poor decisionmaking.

  • Winter weather affects accident rates in ways you might not expect

It makes sense that crash rates would be higher when roads are slippery with ice and snow. However, researchers note that mild winter weather can lead to even higher accident rates over the holidays, since drivers who would otherwise stay in during inclement weather are more likely to be out on the road, possibly driving while impaired by alcohol.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash in New York’s Hudson Valley and you’re in need of seasoned legal help to recover what you’re owed for your injuries, contact the experienced Marlboro car accident attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello for a consultation on your claims at 845-331-4100 in Kingston or 845-236-4411 in Marlboro.

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255 Fair Street, P.O. Box 3356
Kingston, New York 12402

Phone: 845-331-4100
Fax: 845-331-6930

Marlboro Office

1390 Route 9W, P.O. Box 727
Marlboro, NY 12542

Phone: 845-236-4411
Fax: 845-236-3190

Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, is located in Kingston, NY and Marlboro, NY and serves clients in and around Ulster County as well as parts of Orange, Dutchess, Columbia and Greene Counties as well as many surrounding areas.

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