The holidays bring families together who travel long distances to see relatives and share in seasonal memories. Unfortunately, it can also be a busy time on the road for drunk drivers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation notes that every year hundreds of lives are lost during this time that should be full of merriment. Here are a few drunk driving statistics to know as you prepare to travel for the holidays:
- Over the past five years, an average of 300 people died in car crashes caused by drunk driving during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- From 2012 to 2016, nearly 4,000 people died in drunk driving crashes.
- In 2016, 781 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents just in the month of December. This accounted for 25 percent of all traffic crash deaths that month.
Thanksgiving also shows increased drunk driving
Thanksgiving also experiences an uptick in drunk driving, partly because it is supposedly the most traveled holiday. It is also preceded by “Black Wednesday,” which is considered the busiest bar night of the whole year. Families don’t want to make dinner the night before a big meal and many out-of-towners meet up with old friends and family members at a bar once they get to town.
In general, between now and the new year, there is an increase in social binge drinking and travel, which is a combination that can lead to deadly consequences. Those who are traveling during the holidays should be careful of other drivers who are exhibiting unsafe driving behavior.