Holidays and Auto Accidents
I’m sure most of you know that there are always a lot of auto accidents and trucking accidents around the holidays. If I were to ask you why, you’d probably guess it was because there is always a lot of drinking and driving going on during the holidays. You’d be right, for the most part. Around 39% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related. But there is another major contributing factor identified in a report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The report from July, 2005, called “Crash Stats”, a ten-year study from 1994 to 2003, analyzed fatal car crashes and how speeding factors into car accidents. Yes, speeding. Speeding is a factor in about 30% of all traffic fatalities.
There will be wreaths on grills, Christmas lights on dashboards, mistletoe hanging on rearview mirrors and holiday cheer on CB radios of truck drivers. There will be sounds of sleigh bells at the stores and Christmas Carols on the radio. There will be smells of turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and evergreen. Ah yes, the sights, sounds and smells of the holidays. For most of us it will be a beautiful sight, a happy sound and a wonderful smell. For some, it will be the sight of oncoming headlights, the sound of busting glass and twisting metal, and the smell of burned rubber, oil and anti-freeze.
I’m sure most of you know that there are always a lot of auto accidents and trucking accidents around the holidays. If I were to ask you why, you’d probably guess it was because there is always a lot of drinking and driving going on during the holidays. You’d be right, for the most part. Around 39% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related. But there is another contributing factor identified in a report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The report from July, 2005, called “Crash Stats”, a ten-year study from 1994 to 2003, analyzed fatal car crashes and how speeding factors into car accidents.
Yes, speeding. Speeding is a factor in about 30% of all traffic fatalities. That’s almost as high as alcohol related fatal crashes. Speed is the number two (2) cause of all motor vehicle accident fatalities, according to this study. Over that ten year period, there were about 12,000 speeding related fatal car crashes on average each year. Compare that to almost 17,000 fatal crashes for drunk drivers according to another report by the NHTSA called “2005 Traffic Safety Facts”. As you can see, speeding is almost as dangerous as drunk driving. This study set out to prove that, and it did. Speed kills, as we all know. Now that we see the statistics, it is important to recognize that many holiday accidents are preventable. Instead of drinking and driving, and instead of speeding around trying to fulfill all of your holiday obligations and buy all of your holiday gifts, stay sober, and slow down! Distractions while driving are also a major contributor to auto collisions, so put your cell phones down, think about your driving and watch the road…it may save you from a negligent driver who may be impaired by alcohol, speeding or distracted.
Also, according to the “Crash Stats” study, the deadliest day of the year for speeding related fatal crashes is New Year’s Day, followed by Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Who would have guessed that New Year’s Day would be the deadliest holiday? However, when you factor in the speeding, you can see that it makes sense because lots of people are in a hurry to get home for that holiday. As you can see from the statistics, the roads can be a pretty dangerous place, especially around any holiday.
Is it as dangerous for trucks on holidays? Of the 43,636 fatalities on the road in 2005, 5,226 of them involved a truck. That’s about one out of eight fatal accidents that involved a truck. One out of ten fatalities is pedestrians struck by motor vehicles, about one out of four fatalities are passengers, and about one out of ten fatalities are from motorcycle accidents. Of those 43,636 fatalities on the road in 2005, 55% of those who died were not wearing a seatbelt.
Of all the drivers who were cited for drinking and driving in a fatal accident, 14% had previous accidents, 14% had their license suspended or revoked, 20% had speeding convictions and 4% had previous drunk driving convictions. Of the truck drivers involved in a fatal crash, a whopping 23% of them had previous speeding convictions, and 16% of them also had previous accidents. Are you beginning to notice a pattern here? Speeding is a much underestimated danger. It’s no wonder that motor vehicle crashes was the single leading cause of death in the United States in 2003.
Two of the six most deadly days on the road (mentioned above) are coming up in the next month, so please, be careful while driving. Negligent drivers cause accidents, injuries and death…and they get sued by plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers. Get home safely and have a great holiday when you get there.
Too many people choose to drink and drive, speed, allow themselves to be distracted while driving, and/or are simply careless on the road. If you or a loved one fall victim to an accident caused by someone’s negligence, then it is imperative that you contact a Maine injury lawyer. You must act quickly because there is a statute of limitations that restricts the time within which you can take legal action. You should rely upon anexperienced Maine injury lawyer to assist you in gaining legal compensation for injuries and damages that you have suffered. Contact Marchese Injury Law, P.A. Our legal professionals can help you. Call us toll free at (888) 775-6042 or locally at (207) 775-6042. Our office is at 477 Congress Street, Suite 1104, Portland, Maine, and we have convenient parking in the garage attached to our office building.
Please drive safely this holiday season. From my family to yours I wish you a safe journey, a happy holidays and prosperous New Year.