By Roy McDonald, Attorney at Law
The holiday season is fast approaching. While most of us will be celebrating with family and friends, there is something none of us want to think about: the holidays often mean increases in car crashes. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported the following statistics for 2017 (the most recent year for which data is available):
- For the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period, there were 2,746 crashes reported
- Those crashes resulted in 1,213 injuries and 23 fatalities
- 207 of those crashes were alcohol related
- Over the four-day Christmas holiday period, 2,206 crashes were reported
- Those crashes resulted in 1,011 injuries and 5 fatalities
- 176 of these crashes were alcohol related
The NC DOT captures contributing causes of all accidents reported to the police. Speed, lane departure, and distracted driving are three leading causes of accidents. While crashes involving alcohol accounted for only 4.1% of all crashes, these accidents were deadly. During the holidays, we are often in a hurry and distracted by our busy lives. It is crucial that all drivers be in the moment when they are behind the wheel. You may be a safe driver, but if the other person is impaired or distracted, you may pay the price.
You can take steps to help avoid car crashes. Here are a few safety reminders.
- Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings.
- Obey the speed limit signs, adjusting your speed down in cases of reduced visibility or other dangers.
- Leave a safe stopping distance between you and the car ahead.
- Focus on driving. Put away the mobile device, food/drink, and other distractions.
- If you are tired, stop and rest.
- Use extreme caution driving in construction zones.
- Watch for pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Know the North Carolina laws regarding stopped school buses.
- If you plan to enjoy a drink, use a designated driver or call for a ride.
Serious injuries may result in the need for long-term medical treatment, loss of earning power, emotional trauma, or you may face other challenges, all because someone else crashed into you. If you have been injured in an auto accident through no fault of your own, you may wish to speak to a personal injury attorney to learn your rights. Contact Brinkley Walser Stoner today to schedule a free consultation.