The number of motorists on New Jersey roadways increases during the holidays, as does alcohol consumption. Increased traffic and drinking leads to car accidents, so some major holidays are among the worst days to be on the road. New Year’s Day, for example, has the highest percentage of alcohol-related driving deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The National Safety Council reports that approximately 42 percent of New Year’s driving deaths between 2007 and 2011 were alcohol-related. St. Patrick’s Day is also more dangerous for drivers because it is an alcohol-heavy holiday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 276 traffic-related deaths occurred during St. Patrick’s Day weekend between 2009 and 2013, and approximately 40 percent of those fatalities involved alcohol.
July 4th, though, was the deadliest driving day from 2000 to 2013, based on data released by the IIHS. An IIHS official said the increased risk may be due to the number of drivers on the road and the prevalence of alcohol. Indeed, at least one driver tested over the legal limit in 42 percent of Fourth of July car accidents.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are also among the most dangerous holidays for driving. A university professor analyzed Alabama accident numbers and found that the six days surrounding Christmas have 27 percent more accidents than the days around New Year’s Eve. Thanksgiving is dangerous because it is one of the biggest holidays for travel. AAA predicted in 2014 that more than 46 million drivers would be traveling at least 50 miles in the U.S. for Thanksgiving in that year.
Consumption of alcohol and large amounts of food may also contribute to the Thanksgiving car crash numbers, said the president of Advanced Insurance Managers. An attorney may be able to help individuals injured in car accidents caused by another driver seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.