a man in the drivers seat of a car

Holiday Traffic Leads to Holiday Car Accidents

Every holiday season, America’s roads see an increase in traffic as people across the country travel to see their loved ones. Unfortunately, an increase in traffic naturally leads to a rise in traffic accidents. California is no exception. In fact, with so many large cities and busy highways, we often have more holiday traffic accidents than other states with lower populations. It is essential to understand what legal rights you have after an accident so you can protect them. The experienced California car accident attorneys at Maire and Deedon are here to help. 

The Facts About Holiday Traffic Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are generally more traffic fatalities during holiday periods than during non-holiday periods. NHTSA notes that, in 2017, there was an average of 102 fatalities per day on non-holidays. But identified holidays had an average of 119 traffic fatalities per day. NHTSA tracks holiday crash data and uses it to make predictions about holiday traffic accidents in the coming years. Doing this allows NHTSA to develop information campaigns and other programs that best target the likely causes and areas of holiday traffic fatalities.

There are several reasons why holiday fatality rates are higher. Longer travel times, speeding, and increased alcohol use were all identified as contributing factors by NHTSA. Notice that these are all human factors that are within a driver’s control. That means that you can drastically reduce the risk of death to you and your family by merely following safe driving habits.  

Will 2020 Traffic Be Different? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, changed many holiday plans. The CDC has recommended limiting holiday gatherings and avoiding travel altogether. Because of health concerns and the economic effects of a sustained pandemic, AAA anticipates a ten percent drop in holiday travel by car this year. That is the largest drop in a single year since the Great Recession of 2008. Holiday air travel will be impacted even more: AAA anticipates that holiday travel will be half of what it has been in prior years. Many travelers will likely travel by car instead of a plane to make flexible travel plans without cancellation fees. But car travel is far more dangerous than air travel, so these travelers should be sure to exercise caution while on the road. 

That brings us back to good driving habits. Regardless of how much holiday travel is impacted by the coronavirus this year, drivers will still face the risk of injury and death while on the road. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of injury and help all your loved ones reach the destination safely: 

  • Never drink and drive. Many holiday gatherings involve alcohol. If you plan to drink at all, you must also have a plan to get home safely. Designate a driver or be sure that rideshare service will be available. Remember, Uber and Lyft can also experience holiday surges, so it might take longer or cost more to use these services during the holiday season.
  • Make sure to leave time for traffic. Especially here in California, the holiday season can bring heavy traffic and slowdowns. Drivers must be patient. If you get impatient, you will be tempted to speed, pass unsafely, or engage in other driving habits that drastically increase your risk of an accident. 
  • Be prepared for inclement weather. California drivers are not always prepared for icy or snowy conditions on the road. Check to be sure you have all the supplies you will need for inclement weather. You should carry food and drink in case you are stuck for a long time. You should also consider chains or snow tires – or even renting a vehicle with four-wheel drive – if you will be traveling to a snowy area. Even carrying sand or kitty litter can help you get your car out of an icy situation. 

The Right Injury Lawyers For California Holiday Auto Accidents

If you have been injured in a holiday traffic accident, you have legal rights that must be protected. You need a skilled car crash lawyer to defend these rights. You don’t have to look far to find the best injury lawyers in Redding. The experienced California accident attorneys at Maire and Deedon know how to handle all types of auto accident cases. Call (530) 246-6050 or contact us online today to schedule your consultation. Don’t delay – the sooner you have an experienced auto accident lawyer fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.