Why are the holidays a dangerous time on the roads?

You may have heard that the holiday season comes with an increased risk of serious auto accidents. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reported that 799 highway fatalities occurred during the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day in 2019, in addition to 454 car accident deaths on Thanksgiving.

Understanding the factors that contribute to these high fatality rates during the holidays can help you avoid a catastrophic collision this season.

Increased stress

As we rush around to try to get everything done in the dwindling calendar days before the holiday season, stress may lead to limited patience. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination when you head out for holiday shopping or celebrating. Speeding plays a role in a significant number of serious and fatal accidents.

Driving under the influence

All holidays have a higher statistical risk of fatalities associated with DUI. People are more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs during this time of year, which dramatically raises the risk of a serious accident.

Poor weather

Freezing rain, sleet, high winds, hail and slick road surfaces make car crashes more likely in November and December. Arizona residents who rarely experience severe weather should still prepare for the likelihood of moderate snow and other inclement forecasts, according to the state’s Emergency Information Network.

Stay off the road as much as possible this holiday season. If you have to commute, travel or head to the mall, give yourself plenty of time and check the weather before you take to the highways.