When the holiday season approaches, travel increases and with it, an increase in accidents. This year, 40% of Americans – or 99.8 million people – plan to travel during the 2017 holiday season. According to a holiday travel survey conducted by Generali Global Assistance’s Travel Insurance division, Millennials plan to travel more than any other demographic. Of all those planning to travel, nearly 40% plan to stay within 100 miles of home and 68% plan to travel by car.
Though Christmas day typically doesn’t result in an increase in the number of drinking and driving related traffic fatalities, the number of DUI-related traffic stops typically increase by approximately 33% on Christmas Eve. Overindulgence at holiday parties may be to blame.
It is not surprise that New Year’s Eve brings an increase in DUI-related traffic accidents (42% of accidents are a result of drinking and driving). Unfortunately, between Christmas and New Year’s, many teens are out of school and have the potential to engage in risky behavior while people who typically do not drink otherwise, have a drink or two, contributing to the increase in alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities. The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers (a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December).
Driving doesn’t pose the only risk during the holiday season. New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous days to walk (even more than Halloween). According to a 2005 article in the journal of Injury Prevention, there are more pedestrian deaths on New Year’s Day than any other day.
If you plan to travel this holiday season, inspect your car and ensure it is up to snuff. A properly maintained vehicle and planned route will not only make your trip go more smoothly, but will also give you peace of mind. Get out there, stay safe, and have a fun holiday season.