The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, and brings not only drunk drivers, but widespread opportunity for a range of traffic violations.
Law enforcement is well aware of this increase and makes a significant number of arrests each year starting on Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. How many people does this affect? In 2013, Texas DPS cited almost 390 DWI arrests, just over 700 child seat belt citations, over 800 lack of insurance citations and issued almost 6,850 speeding violations during the Thanksgiving period alone.
As experienced DWI and traffic attorneys, Corso Law Group understands the challenges of holiday travel. A combination of holiday stress, alcohol use, adverse weather conditions and increased law enforcement on the roads results in more arrests, accidents and traffic violations during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations than any other time of year.
Increased travel during the Turkey holiday creates high-risk situations for drivers on the roads. Last year, AAA predicted 46.3 million people would be driving on the roads nationwide, averaging a travel distance of at least 50 miles from their homes.
Additional drivers can lead to a higher number of accidents and sometimes, deaths. Based upon previous data and research, The National Safety Council estimated 418 traffic fatalities during the 2014 holiday. As for alcohol-related crashes, 40 percent of highway deaths were due to drunk driving during the holiday period according to MADD. In Texas specifically, more car crash fatalities occurred on Thanksgiving than any other holiday with a total of 55 deaths.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, yet another period of celebration arrives – Christmas. While most of us regard the holidays as a fun time, studies have found that not everyone is stress-free during this holiday. According to a survey completed by State Farm, 32 percent of drivers in the U.S. showed greater signs of either road rage or aggression during the holidays.
Drinking also increases during Christmas and the days following. From just the few days spanning between Christmas to New Year’s Eve, studies show a 12 percent increase nationally in traffic related deaths involving a drunk driver than for the entire month of December.
New Year’s Day
The New Year is often celebrated with parties and alcohol, which can lead to dangerous roads when people don’t take the proper precautions and plan ahead. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, New Year’s Day presented the highest percentage of alcohol-related deaths with 42 percent of traffic deaths having to do with drinking and driving. The first day of the year is technically even worse for drunk driving accidents than New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Day is also listed as the number one day for holiday car theft, with Christmas ranking last.
Holidays are a busy time of the year, especially falling on weekends where alcohol-related accidents are more common. With an increased amount of law enforcement out during the holidays, DWIs and other traffic violations are more likely to happen. At Corso Law Group, we deal with these types of cases every day, helping our clients fight for their rights. If the holidays have you in a difficult position, we’re here to help.