The Heightened Risk of Auto Accidents During the Holidays

January 10, 2024

Auto Accidents Holidays

If Christmas is your favorite time of year, you’re not alone. For millions of Americans, watching Home Alone, wrapping gifts, and drinking hot chocolate is the highlight of the year. It’s important, though, that we take basic safety precautions during this time. In addition to being one of the happiest times of the year, it’s also one of the most dangerous. Drivers are at a significantly higher risk of being involved in a car crash if they drive on or around the holidays.

Keep reading to learn more about holiday crashes in Huntsville. If you’ve been injured in a winter crash, call Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-826-4129 to set up a time to talk now.


Holiday Crash Statistics in Alabama

If you look at the most recent crash statistics published by the state of Alabama, it’s clear that holidays are a risky time of year to be on the road. Although crash numbers were down during the pandemic, largely due to reduced travel, annual trends show that holidays are quite dangerous. In 2019, Christmas—which was defined as December 22 through December 26—was easily the most dangerous time of year, resulting in 19 fatalities. Close behind were Thanksgiving and New Year.


Why Are Holiday Collisions So Common?

A wide range of factors contribute to the annual uptick in holiday collisions. To start, you may think you’re safe from weather-related collisions because you live in Huntsville or Athens. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. When we get our light flurries once or twice a year, drivers panic. Remember, drivers in northern states are used to driving in snow. They know how their car reacts, how slow they have to drive, and how to adjust for slippery roads.

We don’t have that experience, so even a light coat of snow or ice on the road can lead to cars spinning out and cars ending up in ditches. When there’s ice or snow, be exceedingly cautious about your driving and always expect an unprepared driver to cross your path.

Holiday stress is another contributing factor. While this is one of the most memorable times of the year, it can also cause extraordinary amounts of stress for drivers. People are trying to wrap up their year at work, make the holidays magical for their kids, fit in shopping time, make their budget work around the holidays, and deal with pushy family members. It’s a lot, and unfortunately, it can come out on the road. When people are granted anonymity behind the wheel, they are more likely to lash out, get aggressive with people, or take unnecessary risks.

Traffic is also much heavier at this time of year, contributing to collisions. This is especially evident around shopping malls and restaurants, where people are loading up on gifts, hosting holiday get-togethers, and ticking off items on their to-do lists. If you plan on heading into a mall or shopping center, give yourself plenty of time, and don’t try to squeeze too much in.

Finally, this is a time of year when people like to imbibe. They have a few drinks at the Christmas company party, have some wine to get through an awkward family dinner, or otherwise take the edge off. This leads to more impaired drivers on the road.


How to Stay Safe During the Holidays

Knowing that accidents are lurking around every corner, how can you avoid becoming a statistic? First, try to limit your driving whenever possible. Instead of making a dozen trips to the mall to get gifts, shop online when possible and then make one trip to pick up smaller items you can’t find online. If you are socializing during the holidays, either avoid drinking or make a plan to get there and back safely before you start drinking.

When it comes to actually traveling on the holidays, try to plan your driving times to avoid dense traffic. Instead of traveling the day before Christmas, try to head out a few days earlier or start your drive early enough that you reach your destination before most people have even hit the road.


Fight for Compensation with Hodges Trial Lawyers

If you’re involved in a holiday collision in Huntsville, the team at Hodges Trial Lawyers is here to help you. Schedule your free consultation now by calling us at 256-826-4129 or reaching out online.