The holiday season is a wonderful time of year - a time for friends and family to gather together and celebrate. Unfortunately, the large amounts of travelling and merrymaking that take place during the next week also make this one of the most dangerous times to be on the road.
In a release issued last Thursday, the National Safety Council(NSC) estimates that 105 traffic fatalities and 11,200 medically-consulted injuries will occur during the Christmas holiday period, which is defined from 6:00pm on December 24th - 11:59pm December 25th. They also estimate that 156 fatalities and 16,700 injuries will take place during the New Year holiday between 6:00pm December 31st and 11:59pm January 1st. In 2012, there were 351 fatalities during the Christmas holiday and 348 during New Year's (compared to estimates of 377 and 297 respectively). For more details on how the NSC arrived at their estimates, you can view the full report here.
Although you can't control the actions of other drivers on the road, you can control your own. A few common sense decisions can make all the difference.
- Wear your seatbelt. Perhaps the most common sense of all. Studies show that buckling up is 45% effective in preventing traffic fatalities.
- Always have a designated driver. And by designated, that means "non-drinking" - not the person who's had the least to drink.
- Put your phone down. According to the NSC, talking on the phone can make you four times more likely to get in an accident. Even worse, texting can increase your chances by 8-23 times. If you're behind the wheel, your focus should be on the road. Delegate your communication and navigation tasks to a passenger instead.
Safety might not be festive, but it is important. From all of us at Saunder's Law Group, we wish you a happy holiday and prosperous new year.