This year will be different than other holiday seasons because of COVID-19. However, Colorado will still likely see an increase in visitors, tourists, and skiers coming to the area, visiting family or taking advantage of Colorado's winter conditions. A number of factors come together over the winter holiday that can make it more dangerous for residents and visitors to drive. One thing that does not change is that having a Denver auto accident attorney on your side can make a big difference in how much you recover to pay for the accident.
Do Car Accidents Increase Around Christmas and the New Year?
Some of the days around the winter holidays have a higher rate of fatal car accidents. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 115 people would die on U.S. roads over the Christmas Day holiday period. This is due to a number of factors, including traveling long distances to visit family, drowsy driving during the winter, hazardous road conditions, drinking and driving at parties and dinners, and tourists unfamiliar with the local roads. Even if you are a safe driver and take all reasonable precautions, you may still be a victim of a more careless driver, causing you and your family serious injury.
Longest Night of the Year
The longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere is the winter solstice. The winter solstice falls on December 21, 2020, which will be the shortest day and mark the official beginning of winter. There will be fewer daylight hours for driving compared to the rest of the year, which could increase the risk of an accident.
Tourists and Visitors Not Familiar With Icy Roads
With increased traffic, many Colorado residents quickly lose patience with drivers with out-of-state plates or rental cars. These drivers may be inexperienced driving in local conditions, not know how to handle snow or icy conditions, or be distracted by looking at a map on their phone. All of these factors combined can make it more dangerous for tourists who are not familiar with the local traffic laws and road conditions.
High Altitude and Drinking and Smoking
Another thing that locals are familiar with that may take many tourists by surprise, especially when driving, is the effects of high altitude on the body. A driver from Los Angeles may feel like they can drive just fine after 3 beers but those 3 beers are at sea level. At a mile high, those 3 beers may suddenly feel like 5 or 6. The combined effects of alcohol and marijuana at altitude can make driving even more dangerous for unfamiliar drivers.
Drinking and Holiday Celebrations
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “there are higher fatality rates during holiday periods than during non-holiday periods.” We generally think about the peak drinking and driving periods around July 4th, New Year's Eve, and Memorial Day. However, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day has a number of peak drunk driving accident periods. In the month of December alone in 2016, 3,067 people died in motor vehicle crashes.
Denver Auto Accident Attorney
Do what you can to avoid an accident over the winter holidays. If you are the victim of a car accident, talk to your Denver auto accident lawyer so you can focus on your family and let your lawyer deal with the insurance companies to get you the maximum compensation. Contact Denver Legal Eagles today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here for you.