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'Tis the Season for an Accident


The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 371 people may die on U.S. roads this Christmas Day holiday period. Holidays traditionally are a time of travel for families across the United States. Many choose car travel, which has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. Holidays are also often cause for celebrations involving alcohol consumption a major contributing factor to motor-vehicle crashes. The Christmas Day holiday period this year is defined as starting at 6:00pm Thursday, December 23, 2021, and ending at 11:59pm Sunday, December 26, 2021.


The top reasons for such high fatality numbers are: (1) distracted driving; (2) impaired driving; (3) pressured driving; and (4) fatigued driving. Distracted driving is worse during the holidays, on top of the harsh reality it presents during the rest of the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 9 people die every day and 1,000 are injured due to distracted driving. Distracted driving includes more than just texting while driving; it encompasses the use of all social media (Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and FaceBook), talking to passengers, choosing playlists, and even re-setting destinations on GPS devices.

Some ways to lessen the risks associated with distracted driving are: (1) keep your phone out of reach and on silent, reducing the temptation to use it while driving; (2) if the temptation to use your phone while driving persists, make use of blocking apps; and (3) practice safe navigation by entering your destination into your GPS device prior to getting on the road, and pull over if you need to change your itinerary.


Holiday parties, office get togethers, and family events are taking place despite the upsurge in Covid-19 cases. Omicron is not the only risk accompanying the resumption of these traditions: impaired driving increases during the holidays. According to NHTSA, 837 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver in December 2019. During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2019 alone, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities (210) than during any other holiday period that year. Impaired driving includes driving while under the influence of marijuana and other drugs.


Pressured driving occurs more during the holidays when people are feeling a lot of stress from many sources. Hurrying to shop, get to family events, attend school/sporting functions and finish end-of-the-year work projects can contribute to aggressive lane changes, failure to yield the right-of-way, and speeding. Speeding increases roughly 33% during the holidays.

Fatigued driving also occurs more during the holidays, due to the extra events, work and travel packed into the month of December. Driving while tired leads to lane weaving, a failure to signal, going the wrong way on one-way streets or ramps, and falling asleep at the wheel.


Sometimes, despite our best efforts to avoid them, we are still involved in accidents. If you become involved in an accident this holiday season, be sure to do the following:

1. Call 911 immediately and get evaluated by the EMTs for any injuries; your health and safety is the most important thing;

2. Call a friend or family member who can get to the accident scene quickly and who can gather information at the scene such as photos/video of the accident scene and vehicles involved, and contact information for witnesses and the other driver(s);

3. Talk with the police on the scene and get a copy of their report;

4. If you go to the hospital, attend all follow up appointments; if you do not go to the hospital, follow up with your doctor. It is important to document your injuries for later reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages, or other damages such as pain and suffering.

5. Contact a personal injury/accident attorney.


If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free evaluation of your legal rights.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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