The holidays are nearly here, and while that means getting together with family and friends over delicious meals, it also means increased risks on our roads. With the holidays come increased traffic, increased revelry (which often includes drinking), and busy schedules. Additionally, even in Vegas, winter weather can be a factor. All of these issues can contribute to car accidents. If you’re injured by a negligent driver this holiday season, consult with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney as soon as you can.

Increased Traffic During Holiday Travel

Over the holidays, many of us travel home to be with loved ones, and this means increased traffic nearly everywhere. AAA indicates that 2017 was the ninth consecutive busiest year for travel over the end-of-year holidays (from Christmas through New Year’s), and they aren’t expecting that trend to end anytime soon. Further, the vast majority of long-distance travel is by car, which means that traffic is at its highest. And Thanksgiving will be just as congested, if not more so. 

With increased traffic comes more traffic accidents. To help make your trip go as smoothly as possible, there are several things you should keep in mind, including:

  • Plan your trip carefully
  • Watch the weather
  • Try to avoid major cities during rush hour and other high traffic periods
  • Build plenty of extra time into your schedule (increased traffic means increased travel times)

Stay Safe While Driving During the Holidays: Beware of Distracted and Aggressive Drivers

If you know anything about the holidays, it’s that everyone is in a huge hurry – places to go, things to do, people to see. All that rushing around can lead to bad driving practices. For example, distracted drivers always represent a significant danger, but they are often out in full force during the holidays. Distracted driving is dangerous driving, and when that distraction is a smartphone, it’s more dangerous still. Distracted drivers are far more likely than other drivers to cause dangerous accidents.

While distracted driving is a major concern, there are other road hazards that drivers should be aware of. For instance, the deteriorating condition of roads can lead to unexpected incidents, such as those caused by potholes. Moreover, there are instances where drivers may lose consciousness due to various reasons, posing a significant risk to themselves and others on the road. Additionally, with the increase in freight transportation during the holidays, understanding the essentials of safe driving around trucks becomes crucial.

Another byproduct of the holidays is aggressive driving. We’ve all seen drivers who seem to take heavy traffic – or anything else – personally and react aggressively by speeding, cutting in and out of traffic, tailgating, honking incessantly, ignoring traffic signals, and much more. Aggressive drivers put everyone with whom they share the road at risk and should be carefully avoided. Never engage with an aggressive driver, and if you think it’s warranted, alert the authorities once it’s safe to do so. 

The Danger of Drunk Driving and How to Avoid It

Perhaps the biggest risk of holiday travel is the increase in drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. For some reason, drivers who would never normally get behind the wheel after hoisting a few allow the holidays to cloud their better judgment. And those who aren’t averse to slamming a few drinks before heading out are more likely to slam a few more over the holidays. The U.S. Department of Transportation shares several grim statistics related to the holidays and drunk driving, including:

  • During the month of December 2016, more than 3,000 people died in traffic accidents, and 25 percent of those accidents (781) were caused by drunk drivers.
  • In the years from 2012 to 2016, an average of 28 percent of the traffic fatalities during the month of December were caused by drunk drivers. 
  • In the period from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day (from 2012 to 2016), an average of more than 300 people died in crashes caused by drunk drivers.

The holidays mean more impaired drivers on the road and a resulting increase in dangerous accidents.  Make it your policy never to drink and drive. There are far better choices you can make, including:

  • If you’ll be drinking, either designate a driver or call a cab/Uber to get home.
  • Simply refrain from drinking if you’ll be driving.
  • Help others make good choices by offering to drive, to call a cab, or to provide a place to stay if you think the person in question shouldn’t be on the road. 
  • If you’re the host, offer a variety of nonalcoholic drink options and don’t make drinking the focus of the festivities. 

Inclement Weather and Car Accidents

The weather during the holidays can be wet and icy, which makes traffic accidents far more likely. To drive safely on wet or icy roads, motorists must slow down. Drivers who fail to do so are negligent drivers who endanger others. Our speed limits are set for good driving conditions, and drivers are responsible for adjusting their speeds according to the condition of the road. A driver doesn’t have to exceed the posted speed limit to be driving too fast for the conditions at hand. 

If a Negligent Driver Leaves You Injured over the Holidays, Consult with an Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney

The risk of being injured in a traffic accident increases over the holidays. If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured this winter or any other time, the dedicated legal team at Gina Corena & Associates in Las Vegas is committed to aggressively advocating on your behalf for the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 702-680-1111 today.

As founder of Gina Corena & Associates, she is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing personal injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as other types of personal injury. Gina feels fortunate to serve the Nevada community and hold wrongdoers accountable for their harm to her clients.

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