Florida and much of the south has a distinct advantage when it comes to holiday driving—there is lower chance of bad weather. The temperatures in Miami and around the state fall a little, but not where near the temperatures needed for snow, sleet, and freezing rain, like what is experienced on the east coast and in the Midwest. This lack of severe weather makes it a bit safer to drive around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, these holidays are still known for a high rate of car crashes and fatalities.
As we approach Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season, Florida drivers need to prepare for getting about safely and avoiding crashes. If you are in a collision over the holidays this year, do not hesitate to contact a Miami car accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905.
The Holidays, Drunk Driving, and Car Crashes
It surprises many people to learn that Thanksgiving is known as a deadly holiday. The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, dubbed “Thanksgiving Eve,” has become associated with going out and binge drinking. Then, on Thanksgiving, more people are expected to imbibe alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2012 and 2016, more than 800 people died in alcohol-related crashes over Thanksgiving weekend, which for record purposes begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and ends at 6 a.m. Monday. Thanksgiving is one of America’s deadliest holidays.
A month after Thanksgiving and we approach another dangerous holiday—Christmas. This holiday is not as dangerous as Thanksgiving, but between the afternoon of Christmas Eve and Christmas evening, there is usually a spike in crashes. This is most likely due to a greater number of people on the roads. When Christmas is on a weekend, the situation is usually worse than when it falls during the week.
Then comes New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, when most groups of friends and families are celebrating with alcohol. According to a study by Value Penguin, between 2011 and 2015, there were an average of 245 fatal accidents per year on New Year’s weekend.
Florida’s citations during the holiday period in 2017 show an increase in drunk driving. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, between the Friday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after, and between December 23 and January 2, Miami-Dade County wracked up 160 DUI citations in 2017. Broward County had 199 DUI citations during that same period. Throughout the state there were 2,729 DUI citations during the holidays, and Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, had the most with 255 DUI citations.
How to Drive Safely and Avoid a Crash This Holiday Season
There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of a car accident during the 2018 holiday season, including:
- Never drink and drive. If you plan to drink alcohol while out with friends or family or during the holiday celebration, make sure you have a plan to get home safely. Someone may choose to remain a sober driver. You may choose to only have one drink and call it a night. Or, you may rely on calling a taxi or a ridesharing service for a ride home. Another option is to stay the night wherever you are celebrating, if it is a friend or family member’s home.
- Do not speed. Speeding is another common factor is car crashes during the holidays and throughout the year. Traffic is going to be busier than ever and speeding only increases the risk of a collision. Stick to the speed limit.
- Avoid distractions. When you are facing a great deal of traffic and a high risk of drunk drivers, you need to pay close attention to your surroundings while you drive. You need to avoid all distractions. Never talk or text on your phone while driving and avoid eating or drinking coffee.
- Avoid driving when you are tired. Fatigued driving can be just as bad as driving while intoxicated. You are not awake enough to pay attention and respond. It can be tough to leave a celebration early, but it is better than driving while drowsy. Or, plan to spend the night where you celebrate or take a taxi home.
If You Are in an Accident This Holiday Season, Call Us
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a car crash this Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day, and you believe another driver was at fault, contact our Miami car accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. You can reach us online or call (305) 371-6000 to schedule a free consultation.