The holiday season is likely one of the heaviest traveling seasons of the year, if not the heaviest. Every year millions of Americans take to the skies or the highways in order to spend the holidays with the people they hold dear. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) suggests that the holidays account for the vast majority of long distance trips in the United States. In fact, the USDOT reports that only 24% of the total long distance trips taken by Americans are taken outside the holiday season. This mass migration of people is not without its risks. The more people there are traveling, the higher the likelihood that an accident could occur. To stay safe you must be vigilant.
Number of Travelers
In 2013 AAA expected an estimated 94.5 million people to travel during the end-of-year holiday season. This number does not reflect Americans that had a short distance to travel, but rather those that traveled for 50 or more miles to their destinations. AAA also predicted that it would rescue 3.76 million motorists during the 2013 holiday season. While some travelers were predicted to fly, AAA projected one in four Americans would take a road trip.
Risks of Travel
With so many people on the road it is only natural that accidents are more likely to occur. According to the National Safety Council, the holidays can be especially dangerous for traveling. In 2013 there were 360 fatalities on Thanksgiving Day, 88 fatalities on Christmas Day, and 343 fatalities on New Year’s Day. Drivers under the influence of alcohol can also play a large part in the risk of traveling. Although the percentage of alcohol related traffic incidents on Christmas is relatively low compared to other holidays, USA Today reports that 35% of accidents between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drinking and driving. On New Year’s Day the number of alcohol related accidents came up to 42%. Inclement weather can also affect risk, but not in an expected way. Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the National Safety Council, said in the same USA Today article that travelers are more likely to get harmed in good weather, because bad weather generally keeps drivers off the road.
Recently ABC News 13 reported a traffic accident that left a young woman dead in North Las Vegas. The investigators on that case believe that alcohol played some part in the incident. Las Vegas Now reported that dozens of memorial signs were being placed along Route 157 for DUI victims, in an effort to curb drinking and driving this season.
What You Should do if You Have Been in an Accident
If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident during the holiday season the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Once you are safe and treated then you should contact a licensed Nevada auto accident attorney. Only once you have contacted them can you get a full grasp on your potential claim.