It is common knowledge that drivers are at a much greater risk of being involved in a car accident during the holiday season. This is due to a combination of being in a greater hurry than usual, and an increased amount of frantic people on Oklahoma roadways, and the inevitable disagreeable turn the weather takes during this time of year. Studies have shown that car accidents increase by 34% and that car accident fatalities increase by almost 40% during the holiday season. Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day see the largest upswing of injuries caused by car accidents and drunk driving accidents. Vehicle-related deaths increase by 64% on Thanksgiving and by 54% on New Year’s Day in Oklahoma. If you must travel during this upcoming holiday season, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone in your vehicle.
During the holiday season, there is a greatly increased amount of traffic on the roads. This can often lead to frustration, impatience, reckless behavior, and even cases of road rage. It is vital that you allow yourself extra time to get to your various destinations. Many holiday car accidents happen as the result of drivers who were running late speeding in an effort to make up for lost time. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are going to be late, do not start driving recklessly or erratically. Simply take a deep breath and continue driving safely until you get to where you are going. Getting somewhere five minutes earlier is not worth potentially risking your life and the lives of those around you.
Don’t Drink and Drive
This seems like it should go without saying but during the holidays drunk driving accidents shoot up by more than 50%. The holiday season is usually jammed packed with parties and dinners and other sorts of celebrations at which alcohol is usually offered. Remember that even that one extra drink that you had can be enough to put you over Oklahoma’s legal blood alcohol limit of .08%. Try to always arrange a designated driver if you are going to be out somewhere you suspect you will consuming alcohol. If you decide to imbibe unexpectedly and cannot find a sober friend to come get you, you can always take a taxi or a rideshare program such as Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.
Many people drive long distances over the holiday season because they are visiting family or maybe even taking a vacation to somewhere new. In order to stay safe and alert behind the wheel and avoid a car accident, make sure that you know your route. Figure out how many miles in a day you can reasonably cover and how many people in your car are willing to share in the driving duties. Make sure that you add in plenty of time for breaks so that you can get food and drink, use the restroom, get gas, and stretch your legs. If you find that you are getting drowsy while behind the wheel, find a safe, well-lit parking lot or rest area where you can pull over, lock your doors, and get a few hours of sleep. If your trip is particularly long, you may even want to consider spending your nights in a hotel along the way. Drowsy drivers account for a substantial number of nighttime car accidents on Oklahoma’s highways.
Reducing the overall amount of driving that you need to do during the holiday season is ideal, but not always practical. If you are involved in a car accident you need to contact a personal injury attorney immediately to go over your legal options. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma for which they were not liable, then the McGuire Law Firm is here to help you. Our personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of damages that you are entitled to under the law. If you would like a free consultation with one of our reputable personal injury attorneys regarding your car accident case, then please give us a call at (405) 513-5658 and speak with someone in our Oklahoma office today.