The holidays are a time of celebration, but they are also a time of grief for many families. Thousands of households every year approach the holidays with a bittersweet attitude because it is the anniversary of a tragedy for their family.
As temperatures drop and people begin preparing for the winter holidays, safety concerns also start to arise. When you understand the effect that Christmas and New Year’s Day both have on drunk driving crash risks, you may make more informed decisions about your holiday travel plans.
How the holidays affect your risk on the road
The major holidays often include traditions that involve alcohol. Eggnog on Christmas Eve and the champagne toast on New Year’s Eve are both examples of common traditions that involve people drinking, often just a few minutes before they get in their cars and drive. Unfortunately, that means your risk of a crash is higher around the holidays.
The actual holidays themselves may see an increase in risk, as will the weekend right before or after the holiday. New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous days of the year for drunk driving and is often the most dangerous day of the entire year. Christmas often sees less of a spike than New Year’s Day and the weekends around it, but celebrants should treat both holidays as particularly dangerous days to be on the road, especially after dark.
Those running police departments are often aware of the increased risk of drunk driving crashes around the holidays and may engage in more enforcement activity around holiday weekends. However, they will only be able to deter or catch a small percentage of those who intend to misuse alcohol and then drive home afterward. May need to presume when headed out on the road that other drivers will not make safety-conscious choices and could endanger you.
Traveling before or after the holiday could be safer
If you intend to drink when celebrating New Year’s or Christmas with your loved ones, the best decision may be to spend the night where you celebrate rather than trying to drive home after dark when there is alcohol in your bloodstream.
Understanding what puts you at risk for a major car crash will help you keep the holidays the time of celebration rather than the anniversary of a tragedy for your family.