“From Atlantic to Pacific, gee, the traffic is terrific.” You may recognize that line from the classic Christmas song “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays” by Perry Como. To be sure, holiday travel is hectic, to say the least. According to AAA, approximately 55 million people across the country planned on making a trip of at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving.
Of those 55 million, 49.3 million traveled by car. You can expect similar statistics for the Christmas season, though the travel tends to be spread out a bit more since many people use the last couple weeks of the year for Christmastime travel. Regardless, the roads will be busy, and that makes driving riskier.
The Sobering Statistics
The 2019 holiday travel forecast predicts Saturday, December 21st, Sunday, December 22nd, and Sunday, December 29th, to be the three worst (and heaviest) travel days of the season. And with more road congestion comes more accidents. Unfortunately, what should be a fun and festive time of year turns into tragedy for too many people. The National Safety Council predicted an estimated 48,100 people nationwide would be injured in a car crash during the Christmas holiday period, to the point of needing medical consultation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission estimates that nearly 800 travelers will lose their lives on the road during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Locally, Washington, D.C., ranked as the safest state to drive during Thanksgiving over a span of five years (2013-2017), with only 0.24 fatal crashes per 100,000 people. The flip side to that is the I-95 corridor, which runs from D.C. through Baltimore and Philadelphia, and up to New York City, sees the most fatalities from car accidents during any normal three-day period than anywhere else in the country. If you’re driving for the Christmas holiday this year, odds are you’ll be traveling in this area, so please take precautions to avoid becoming one of these statistics.
Stay Safe on the Road
Make sure you get to your family and friends safely this Christmas by following these helpful tips:
- Don’t drink and drive. This is the cause of nearly one-third of all car accident fatalities during the holidays. If you’re going to enjoy some adult beverages, arrange for a ride (taxi, Uber, Lyft) or have a sober friend or family member drive you home.
- Buckle up. It’s not just the law; it’s smart.
- Put the phone away. If you must make or take a call, use a hands-free device (Bluetooth) so you can keep your focus on the road. Never text and drive.
- Get some sleep. If you’re planning on an early morning trip or trying to beat traffic late at night, make sure you get enough rest so you’re not drowsy when driving.
- Be prepared. You never know what type of weather winter will bring, so make sure your car is ready (oil changed, wipers replaced, tires inflated). It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency kit handy in the vehicle.
What If I Do Get Into an Accident?
No matter how many precautions you take, accidents happen. Even in a minor incident, like a fender-bender, you may not feel injured…or maybe just slightly hurt. Car accident injuries sometimes surface after the fact, so if you think you may be hurt, seek legal counsel as soon as you can. Even during the holidays, you can call The Maryland and DC Car Accident Lawyers at The Lapidus Law Firm at (301) 852-7500 or (202) 785-5111 to set up a free consultation. If the office is closed, we have a form on our website you can fill out, and you can rest assured that we’ll get back with you in a timely manner.
Maryland and DC Car Accident Lawyer
The Lapidus Law Firm is committed to your well-being, so If you or someone you know is involved in a car accident over the holidays, the Maryland and DC Car Accident Lawyers at The Lapidus Law Firm are here to help. Safe travels and happy holidays!