HOLIDAYS RAISE RISK OF DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS

The Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays are known to pose an increased risk of drunk driving accidents to Missouri residents.

People who live in Kansas City are aware that drunk drivers pose serious dangers to other motorists as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. These risks exist every day and can be seen in startling statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Over the five-year period spanning 2012 through 2016, the state’s fatality count in drunk driving crashes each year ranged from a low of 205 to a high of 283. Jackson County experienced a significant number of those deaths, losing a total of 132 lives at the hands of drunk drivers.

County details include the following:

  • In 2016, out of 90 total vehicular fatalities, 34 involved alcohol.
  • In 2015, out of 82 total vehicular fatalities, 21 involved alcohol.
  • In 2014, out of 60 total vehicular fatalities, 19 involved alcohol.
  • In 2013, out of 72 total vehicular fatalities, 27 involved alcohol.
  • In 2012, out of 77 total vehicular fatalities, 31 involved alcohol.

Dangers rise over holidays

BACtrack.com notes that drunk driving arrests increase from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day each year. According to the National Safety Council, the New Year’s, Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays represent three of the nation’s six deadliest holidays at the hands of drunk drivers.

According to USA Today, when in the week a holiday date occurs can also impact how many drunk driving incidents there may be. Christmas 2017 is on a Monday and New Year’s Eve will be on a Sunday with the following day being a holiday. Thanksgiving always spans a whole weekend.

A five-year statistics compilation by the NHTSA shows a dramatic surge in drunk driving fatalities over New Year’s and Christmas holidays relative to the rest of the year. The data used was from the years 2001 to 2005 and shows that the average number of daily fatalities in accidents involving alcohol was 36, which calculated out to be 31 percent of all vehicular fatalities.

On Christmas holiday dates, the average number of daily fatalities in accidents involving alcohol was 45, which calculated out to be 38 percent of all vehicular fatalities. On New Year holiday dates, the average number of daily fatalities in accidents involving alcohol was 54, which calculated out to be 41 percent of all vehicular fatalities.

Can the trend be stopped?

It would be wonderful to think that drunk driving accidents could be eliminated but that is unlikely to happen. For this reason, securing the assistance of an experienced lawyer after a drunk driving crash happens is important.