5 Common Causes of Winter Car Accidents

The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends by eating delicious meals, giving and receiving gifts, as well as going on long trips. Unfortunately, the winter season is also filled with car accidents.

According to the National Center for Statistics & Analysis (NCSA), fatal traffic accidents occur at a higher rate during the holidays compared to non-holiday periods. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that December 23 and December 24 are two of the most dangerous days to drive.

The following are the most common causes of winter car accidents:

  1. Drunk drivers – There is a significant increase in impaired drivers on the road during this time of year. The NCSA reports nearly 40 percent of all fatal crashes during Christmas time involve at least one driver who is intoxicated by alcohol. Many people celebrate the holidays by consuming alcohol at festive gatherings. If you plan on drinking when you’re away from home, avoid driving altogether. Instead, assign a designated driver, use a ridesharing service such as Uber or Lyft, or rely on public transportation if it’s available.
  2. Fatigued drivers – The holiday season is a popular time to embark on a road trip. Driving long distances, especially when the traffic is slow, can result in fatigued driving, which is just as bad as drunk driving. If you plan on driving long distances, make sure you get plenty of sleep prior to the journey. If you feel tired during your trip, either let one of your passengers take over driving duty or check into a hotel or motel get some rest.
  3. Congested roads – There are more vehicles on the road during the holidays than any other time of year. From visitors who are unfamiliar with the roads to stressed-out holiday shoppers, these driving conditions result in the possibility of more collisions. Whenever you experience heavy traffic, just be patient and watch out for aggressive drivers. If the traffic is slow enough, check to see if there is a faster alternate route on your cell phone or GPS device.
  4. Inclement weather – As much as many of us enjoy the sight of snowfall during winter, this type of weather can create hazardous driving conditions. Not only can ice- and snow-covered roads make maneuvering your vehicle more challenging, but falling snow can impair your visibility. Whenever you drive during inclement, drive slower than usual and maintain ample space between you and the driver in front you to anticipate unexpected situations.
  5. Improper vehicle maintenance – Rather than spending on necessary car maintenance, many drivers use the money to purchase gifts and wait until next year to take care of vehicle issues. Unfortunately, the inclement weather can put a strain on your vehicle, which makes it more vulnerable to problems that can either leave you stranded on the side of the road or result in a crash. To avoid paying for expensive repairs or buying a brand new car, properly maintain your vehicle.

If you have been injured in a car accident during the holidays that was caused by negligence, our New York City personal injury attorneys at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP is ready to fight for you. Contact us and schedule a free consultation for more information today.

Categories: Car Accidents