New Year’s Eve—Motor Vehicle Accident Facts
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death and serious injury all year. However, New Year’s Eve and even New Year’s Day can see an increase in fatalities and debilitating lifelong injuries.
The NSC (National Safety Commission) estimates that approximately 403 fatalities will occur during the New Year 3-day celebration in 2023. This is an uptick compared to the general amount of fatalities reported during the rest of the year. It is also an uptick because of the extended holiday of 2022-2023.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Association) of the Department of Transportation, approximately 32 individuals die in highway-associated deaths per day in the USA. That is estimated at one fatality every 43 seconds.
In 2023, the New Year holiday falls on a Sunday, making Saturday and Sunday a time of celebration. It also encompasses the day after December 31 and January 1, including January 2, so that in 2023 this holiday has a longer statistical spread. This can increase the number of motor vehicle accidents due to time on the highways in poor conditions.
Major Causes of New Year Holiday Motor Vehicle Accidents
As of December 13, 2022, the NSC released a press release to try and alleviate the three most common reasons for holiday motor vehicle accidents. Called the Highway Safety Campaign, the objective is to raise awareness of holiday tragedies and to prevent them from occurring.
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
This has always been a problem when individuals drink alcohol and drive during holidays. It has increased in magnitude, however, as marijuana, even medical marijuana, has been added to the mix of being under the influence.
Both alcohol and marijuana change perception and brain chemistry and lead to poor judgment while driving. This makes driving a crime while maintaining certain levels of either in one’s bloodstream.
This type of driving, generally while texting, is prevalent all year. During the holidays, however, individuals can be texting while driving because they are already impaired. It might occur more often because partygoers and family members make many plans during the holiday season, according to the BTS (Bureau of Traffic Statistics). Travel also increases during any holiday period, especially between Thanksgiving and the end of the New Year holiday.
This increase can be upwards of 50 percent more individuals traveling across the nation who also are in a rush to get to their destinations. Unfortunately, this does lead to rather disastrous motor vehicle accidents many times.
According to Ashley Halsey III, writing for the Washington Post, more individuals check their social media accounts and other online messages while driving. (Halsey, 2018, Washington Post). There is no apparent reason to determine why this occurs, but previous family events may be a cause.
The first two factors above contribute to what the NSC (National Safety Council) refers to as “drowsy driving.” As a result, the NSC has started a grassroots campaign to address fatigued driving. There is now a Drowsy Driving Prevention Week each November, where individuals can obtain information on how to prevent this occurrence.
Falling asleep at the wheel can be deadly, but even fatigue impairs judgment and reflexes. Combine this with even mild alcohol or drug impairment and distractions when driving, and the risk factors of having a motor vehicle accident increase dramatically. Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is easy, and welcoming in a New Year is an exciting time. Judgment, however, must remain clear and unencumbered by fatigue, alcohol, drugs, or distractions while driving.
Needless to say, no event is worth getting injured to attend, nor is any event worth the price of being charged with speeding. Holidays should be relaxed if possible, and going beyond the speed limit does not add to any festive feeling.
Additional Facts on New Year Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Police can be overwhelmed by the volume of accidents, so facts must be accrued with strict attention to detail if an accident occurs.
- Never make statements to police or others without consulting an attorney first, as many accidents are not “one party” accidents but a combination of factors, including winter weather.
- Insurance companies always seek to win for their clients, and only the best attorney with the most experience in motor vehicle accidents should be sought.
- Never, ever leave the scene of an accident. This in and of itself can lead to criminal charges.
If, unfortunately, you find yourself the victim of a vehicular incident or are charged with DUI or other crimes while driving, Christian J. Hoey, Esq., and his team of experts at Hoey Legal, located in Paoli, PA, make finding the legal assistance needed in times where every second counts.
Recreation of crash sites, as well as attention to the most implicit detail, make Hoey Legal the most appropriate choice for the rigorous representation of clients involved in any motor vehicle catastrophe. There is a free consultation, a form, an email, and two phone numbers for immediate assistance.
Summary—New Year Holiday Motor Vehicle Accidents The “clock starts ticking” on any motor vehicle accident the minute the accident occurs. Therefore, immediate assistance must be sought to prevent long-term consequences of either untimely death, traumatic brain injury, other disability, or criminal charges.