Not a single day passed in 2015 that someone did not die on a Texas roadway. In total, 3,531 people died in traffic accidents across the lone star state and over 17,000 more were seriously injured, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. On average 10 people die per day, traffic accidents are not spread evenly across the year. Instead, the death toll rises and falls depending on the time of year. This is especially true when considering the frequency of car accidents on holidays.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) actively monitors and gathers data on holiday accidents across the state. In 2015, TxDOT reported the following holiday fatalities:
- Memorial Day Weekend: 49 killed
- Fourth of July Weekend: 39 killed
- Labor Day Weekend: 42 killed
- Thanksgiving Weekend: 41 killed
- Christmas Weekend: 37 killed
- New Year’s Weekend: 32 killed
In spite of increased police presence on roadways and hiked traffic fees and fines, holidays continue to be among the most dangerous days to drive.
Why are there more accidents on holidays?
Multiple factors cause increased accidents on holidays.
Bad weather, especially around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, is one such factor in many parts of the country.
Another simple fact is that there are more people on the road. While airports, bus stations, and railways are excessively crowded around the holidays, most people traveling long distances, 91 percent, are driving, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. With so many people on our country’s roads, the increased risk of traffic accidents is unavoidable.
Another factor that contributes to holiday traffic accidents is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many holidays are known for being a time to kick back and relax. As such, alcohol commonly gets mixed into holiday festivities.
Cookouts on the Fourth of July go hand in hand with cold beer. Many families serve Christmas dinners with wine or spiked eggnog. And of course, no holiday has more of an association with drinking than New Year’s Eve.
The numbers show that alcohol significantly contributes to the number of accidents on holidays. Just look at the Texas Department of Transportation’s data on traffic accident fatalities involving alcohol on the following days:
- New Year’s Day: six of the 14 deaths involved alcohol
- Memorial Day: one of the seven deaths involved alcohol
- The Fourth of July: six of the 14 deaths involved alcohol
- Labor Day: five of nine deaths involved alcohol
- Thanksgiving: two of 12 deaths involved alcohol
- Day after Thanksgiving: five of 12 deaths involved alcohol
- Christmas: four of 14 deaths involved alcohol
- Day after Christmas: six of 16 deaths involved alcohol
- New Year’s Eve: four of 10 deaths involved alcohol
Even knowing the dangers and the high possibility of traffic tickets or DUI charges, people continue to drive drunk, especially on and around the holidays.
Holiday Accidents in the Houston Area
Christmas Eve 2013: A 24-year-old woman was killed around 1:00 am on Christmas Eve while driving westbound on Hempstead Highway. The woman lost control of her Mercedes on a curve near Dacoma Street causing the car to flip. The woman was tossed from her car and the vehicle landed on top of her.
Christmas Eve 2013: The driver of a SUV intentionally ran over a 50-year-old man on Christmas Eve in 2013. Witnesses said they saw the victim speaking to the driver of the SUV around 9:00 p.m. at 6000 Bellfort near Mykawa. The man tried to run away from the car, but fell down and the driver ran him over. The man died at the scene and the SUV fled.
New Year’s Day 2013: A 43-year-old man died crossing the street at around 2:30 am on New Year’s Day. Officers questioned the driver and confirmed that the victim did not use the crosswalk.
The Day After Christmas 2015: A 65-year-old woman was killed on her way to a friend’s surprise birthday party when a street racer crashed into the car she was riding in which caused it to flip. The driver of the victim’s vehicle was also seriously injured and life-flighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital. The driver at fault faced criminal charges for engaging in street racing on the Katy Freeway and endangering a child because he had a three-year-old passenger in his car. The child was not injured.
Where can I get help after a holiday car accident?
Even careful drivers can be involved in accidents. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident during the holidays, The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian can help.
Contact us today for help: 713-842-9492. Se habla Español.