How Negligent Drivers Make the Holidays Dangerous
Every year, during the winter holiday session, car accidents spike. This also means a spike in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The holidays are supposed to be the happiest times of the year – why are they so dangerous, even deadly?
Unfortunately, a lot of that danger can be chalked up to negligent drivers shirking their duty of care toward other on the roads.
When the holidays roll around, so do the drunk drivers. Alcohol is a way for many people to celebrate, especially around New Year’s. While having a few celebratory drinks with friends can be a great way to experience some holiday cheer, people who then get behind the wheel of a car are incredibly irresponsible. There are countless studies that show how alcohol impairs the brain of a driver, to the point where it is next to impossible to drive safely with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Drivers who drink usually suffer from:
- Lowered reaction times
- Loss of judgment
- Inability to make decisions
- Blurred and double vision
- Difficulty concentrating
Drunk driving usually spikes during the winter season, as many people will go out and party with friends or family members, before getting back in their cars to drive home. This kind of behavior puts everyone at risk, and is a key reason why the holidays are such a dangerous time on the roads.
With the holidays come stress. There are a number of reasons why the holidays cause people to become frazzled, such as having to work extra hours to afford gifts, having to figure out a schedule that can include visits with multiple family members, or even just the increased traffic at the local stores. There is no denying, however, that the holiday season can cause people to become incredibly tense. This negativity can carry over into driving, causing people to take their aggression out on others on the road.
Aggressive drivers may be more in control than drunk drivers, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Those who give in to road rage often speed, tailgate, swerve in traffic, and make sudden and dangerous route changes, such as merging or making quick turns without signaling. This kind of erratic and negligent behavior can easily lead to a serious accident, resulting in catastrophic injuries.
Many people have to make last-minute plans during the holidays, whether that means visiting more family than anticipated, working longer hours, or visiting the toy store for the twentieth time that week. This constant schedule-changing and opportunity-grabbing means that many get on the roads while fatigued, as in they have not slept for over 18 hours. While fatigued driving is not illegal, it is still incredibly dangerous. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), going without sleep for over 18 hours is the equivalent of having a BAC of .05%. Even more alarming, being awake for more than 24 hours is similar to having a BAC of .10%, well over the legal limit of alcohol. Needless to say, fatigued drivers are incredibly dangerous.
Keeping Yourself Safe
Considering the many types of dangerous drivers on the road during the holiday season, you may be wondering how you can keep your family safe. After all, it isn’t as if you can avoid the streets altogether. Well, we recommend that you travel during uncommon hours, and avoid times of high traffic. The fewer drivers on the road, the lesser your chances of becoming the victim of a car collision.
If you notice the signs of a drunk, aggressive, or drowsy driver, we recommend that you keep as much distance between them and you as possible. Let them drive ahead of you and leave a long following distance, if possible. Better yet, change your route so that you can get away from them completely. While it may make you late or take you a little longer to get to your destination, there is nothing more important than your safety.
If you have already become the victim of a negligent driver, then you should seek to recover the damages that you suffered as a result of your accident. The best way to do so is to speak with an experienced car accident attorney who can fight for your rights. To work with one of the best legal teams in Dallas, call our firm, The Lenahan Law Firm, at (214) 295-1008. We look forward to discussing your case.