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Help in the Face of Drunk Driving Accidents During Holidays

Oceanside residents should be prepared for the increased risks associated with drinking and driving at holiday times.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlights the importance to all California drivers of being extra vigilant when on the roads during holiday times by noting the increase in drunk driving accidents during these times as compared to non-holiday times.

Between 2001 and 2005, the NHTSA reports that alcohol-influenced automotive fatalities that occurred over the 25 days in December classified as non-holiday dates represented 28 percent of all automotive fatalities on those days. This compares to 40 percent over the dates classified as holiday days for both New Year’s and Christmas. Clearly, the risk of being involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver over these holidays does rise.

More information corroborates the story

Information from the National Safety Council, reported by 247wallst.com, backs up the NHTSA view that holiday times see an increase in the number of drunk driving accident victims. Looking at six holidays at different times of the year, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s were found to be among the most dangerous. In the years spanning 2007 to 2011, alcohol was involved in 42 percent of all vehicular fatalities during the New Year holidays alone.

The rate of accidents and fatalities can vary based upon many factors. One such factor is the day of the week on which Christmas or New Year’s happens to fall. When these holidays land in the middle of the week, the associated accident or death risk is lowered as opposed to when these holidays land on a weekend.

How big is the problem in California?

Mothers Against Drunk Driving records from 2012 indicate that the number of deaths attributed to drunk driving accidents in California that year rose by 3.6 percent over the prior year. Overall, these deaths represented 28 percent of all vehicular fatalities in California for 2012.

NHTSA records from the same year show a total of 2,857 lives lost statewide in all automobile crashes. Of those, 802 were lost at the hands of impaired drivers. In San Diego County, 62 out of a total of 210 deaths were caused by alcohol-involved accidents. Neighboring Orange County lost 36 lives to drunk drivers, out of a total 149 vehicular fatalities.

Taking action is important

Accident victims should remember that they have the right to pursue compensation and justice when these tragedies occur. Whether the injured party or a loved one, those involved should contact an attorney promptly after any drunk driving accident.