The holiday season runs from Thanksgiving through Christmas and into New Year’s Day. We have holiday parties, big family dinners and office celebrations to attend. One common ingredient in each of these events is alcohol — whether wine, champagne or whiskey. There is also a dramatic increase in automobile driving as families travel to relatives and people drive to their respective festive occasions. When we combine these factors — the booze, parties and driving — the result is a dramatic increase in California car crashes.
The California Highway Patrol reports that in 2011, there were 236 traffic fatalities in November and 228 in December. Alcohol played a factor in 74 of the 236 deaths in November and 90 of the 228 deaths in December. We will review some of the driving hazards that can dampen your holiday cheer.
As the statistics from the California Highway Patrol reveal, a significant percentage of the accidents this time of year are caused by driving while impaired. If you are out celebrating, hire a taxi or make sure your group has a designated driver who will abstain from alcohol for the night. If you are the appointed safe driver, be vigilant of other impaired drivers and proceed with caution.
During the holiday season, cars often carry a lot more passengers than usual. Families are traveling to visit relatives and friends are driving together to parties. If you are the driver, focus on the road and be wary of other erratic drivers. It also important to not fall to the hands of the following common distractions:
Studies show that the safety advantages of hands-free cell phones over hand-held devices are minimal.
One winter blast during the holiday season can make driving a nightmare. It is important to be prepared for hazardous conditions by examining your tires to make sure that they are optimal condition. Also, check the oil and engine to remove any concerns about your car stalling mid-journey. Buy a roadside emergency kit that includes flares, a first aid kit and jumper cables.
If you have been injured in a holiday season auto accident, hire an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer. Conveniently located in the center of downtown San Diego, we serve clients in the surrounding counties.