Why Holidays Increase Your Risk of Fatal Collisions



Holidays are beloved by people around the country because you finally get to spend some much-needed days off with friends and family. However, there is a downside to these celebrations. Throughout the year, holidays have some of the highest rates of fatal collisions. So much so that the National Safety Council estimates and tracks fatalities during seven distinct holiday periods.

Before scheduling those big cross-country road trips to visit family this fall, understand the risks of traveling during this time and why these days can be so dangerous.


With seasonal stress and illness, combined with other factors, holidays can be some of the most dangerous times of year for roadway users. There are several reasons why there may be higher rates of fatal collisions during this time, including:

Traffic Increases

During any holiday season, roadway traffic is expected to increase, especially during the fall and winter months. For example, an average of 55 million people are typically traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday each year.

With more people on the roads in potentially unfamiliar areas, the possibility of being involved in a collision is going to increase. When you add this on top of the seasonal changes across the country, a driver who is unfamiliar with driving on slicker roadways may have a harder time handling their vehicle in potentially dangerous situations.

Distracted Driving

Depending on the holiday, it may be much easier for you to become distracted while driving. Fielding phone calls from relatives, thinking over the holiday itinerary, roadside seasonal decor, and more pedestrians near the roadway may make drivers more susceptible to distraction. Along with this, children may become more rowdy passengers during the days leading up to holidays, which may cause parents to be stressed while driving.

Driver Fatigue

It’s not uncommon for everyone to get a little less sleep during the holiday season. The excitement, traveling, and spending time with loved ones may have you staying awake for longer hours and that, combined with the potential of being in a different time zone, can throw off your sleep schedule. When it’s time to head back home, understand that while you may not automatically feel the effects of this fatigue, it can impact your driving. To combat this, try to get a full night’s sleep the day before your trip and take periodic breaks on your road trip to refuel your body.

Driving Under the Influence

During the fall and winter months, many holidays can come with the expectation of consuming alcohol in different settings. Lakeside barbeques during Labor Day Weekend, Halloween parties, and Thanksgiving dinner, to name a few, may result in people getting behind the wheel when under the influence. Unfortunately, these holidays record some of the highest rates of drunk driving-related fatal collisions and thousands of lives are taken on these days annually.

Remember, getting behind the wheel when under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts you and everyone else on the road in danger. Don’t forget to plan ahead each holiday season to avoid preventable accidents caused by drunk driving.


This holiday season, take extra time to prepare your family for roadway emergencies and use extra caution to avoid using reckless driving behaviors. Additionally, if you or a loved one becomes injured in a car crash caused by another driver, know that you always have the right to pursue financial compensation.

Our New Orleans attorneys are committed to keeping the roadways safe by holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call (504) 475-7578 today.

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