By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, winter is often operating at full force in Minnesota. This reality can make running holiday errands a challenge. When roads are icy and darkness dominates so many of the waking hours, drivers can get tired, distracted and stressed.
On top of the weather challenges, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can lead some Minnesotans to be unintentionally less careful when they are on the road. This can lead to an increased rate of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
What Influences Holiday Accidents?
Of the six major traffic holidays, Thanksgiving is the third most dangerous in terms of fatalities, New Years Day ranks fifth, and Christmas ranks sixth. These rankings are based on National Safety Council estimates for 2013. Some estimates are far lower than actual 2012 totals, however. For example, the NSC originally estimated that the Christmas travel period would result in 105 fatalities, despite the fact that more than three times that many fatalities occurred the year before. Sometimes estimates are altered due to weather patterns, gas prices and even the days of the week that holidays fall on. But no matter what influences these estimates, major holidays inevitably result in a higher-than-usual accident rate.
The biggest influencers of traffic fatalities in Minnesota are speeding, distracted driving, alcohol, and failing to wear a seatbelt. Of these, impaired driving contributes to the most fatal accidents, resulting in 91 deaths in Minnesota in 2015. Speeding resulted in 78 deaths, and distracted driving led to 74 deaths.
Preventing Holiday Accidents
When people drive during the holiday season, they may be looking for new stores or trying to remember their shopping lists, and therefore may be paying less attention to the actual road. Some drivers are almost certainly trying to keep in touch with others on their cellphones, or may be more in tune to navigation systems than their actual driving. Holiday parties lead to move drinking and more impaired driving, and even the Wednesday before Thanksgiving brings many people to the bar, leading to drinking and driving.
Inclement weather is less of a factor than many might think, since people tend to avoid going out when there is too much ice and snow,
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident during the holiday season and has suffered injuries, it is important to take good notes about the accident scene. With this information, an experienced personal injury lawyer stands a better chance of helping you get the compensation you need in order to take care of medical and other related expenses.