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Why Do Car Accidents Spike During the Holidays in Colorado?

Posted on in Car Accident

Larminer County auto accident attorney

Last year, an estimated 112.5 million Americans traveled during the December holiday season. No matter what holidays people celebrate, many take this time off work or school to travel to visit family or take a vacation. In many cases, these trips involve traveling via automobile, and due to the increased traffic on the roads, car accidents can become more likely during this time of year. Collisions may occur because of inclement weather, but distracted or impaired driving can also be a factor in accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities.    

Factors that Contribute to Winter Car Crashes

The holiday travel season begins around December 22 and ends on January 1. The National Safety Council (NSC) typically estimates that around 800 people will die on the roads during Christmas and New Year periods. Cars have the highest rate of deaths per mile versus other forms of transportation. This is true throughout the entire year, so why do car accidents spike during the winter holiday season?

For travelers in Colorado and nearby states, winter brings cold temperatures and snow. Even experienced winter drivers can get into an accident because of bad road conditions. Almost half of all accidents caused by poor driving conditions occur in the winter. Roads become slippery once the precipitation freezes and turns to ice. In addition, visibility can be significantly lowered because of heavy or blowing snow. If a driver is speeding, they may lose control of their vehicle in icy conditions and collide with another vehicle.  

Another reason car accidents increase during the holiday season is that people often drink alcohol during parties and get-togethers. Having a couple of drinks and staying in likely will not cause any issues, but when people get behind the wheel after drinking, that reckless behavior can cause tragic accidents, potentially resulting in wrongful death. The legal limit for a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent, and exceeding this limit can not only result in criminal charges, but it can put other drivers in danger. The way alcohol affects a person depends on issues such as weight, height, and what type of alcohol is consumed. Even if a driver is below the legal limit, any amount of alcohol can impair a person’s ability to drive safely. An impaired motorist will have slower reaction times, making it more difficult to brake if the car in front of them suddenly stops. Plus, an intoxicated driver may swerve in and out of lanes, leading to rear-end, head-on, or possible rollover accidents.

Lastly, the stress of the holidays can contribute to car accidents. While we look forward to visiting family, gift-giving, and parties every year, these events can also be stressful. Traveling for the holidays often includes a car packed full of people for many hours, which in itself can be distracting. A motorist may also be fatigued, especially if he or she is driving through the night after a long workday. The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, but a driver may be focused on speeding through traffic to get to their destination on time instead of on the road around them, and this can lead to dangerous accidents.  

Contact a Fort Collins Car Accident Lawyer

Due to the increased number of vehicles on the road and the difficulty of driving in winter weather, motorists should be aware of the dangers of holiday travel. Being involved in a car accident with someone who is driving recklessly can have devastating consequences. If you have been hit by a negligent driver and suffered serious injuries as a result, contact a tenacious Larimer County personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Hoggatt Law Office, P.C., we will fight for your rights to compensation for your pain and suffering. Call our office today at 970-225-2190 to schedule your free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/holidays/holiday-introduction/

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812823

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/holiday-travel-december-2018/index.html

 

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

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Fort Collins, CO 80524

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