Study Says Holiday Shoppers to Blame for Causing Christmas Car Accidents
Winter driving is no picnic. Travelers rushing home to see their families, snow falling inches deep on rapidly-darkening highways, and drunk drivers overindulging at local bars all make for hazardous road conditions. But it turns out that the biggest hazard isn’t anything you can see or touch—in fact, it might even be you.
David Brown, a University of Alabama professor who has studied holiday traffic, found that the six days around Christmas registered 18 percent more accidents than any other holiday. The number of accidents surpassed that of the heaviest travel period—Thanksgiving weekend—and common drunk-driving menace New Year's Eve, pointing to an overlooked cause of holiday crashes: stress.
According to the Washington Post, Brown’s information compounds a study done by State Farm Insurance that says stress is the biggest factor contributing to holiday car accidents in NJ. Sources have concluded that:
- Over a third of all drivers are more likely to adopt aggressive driving behaviors during the holidays, with drivers under 49 particularly likely to drive angry.
- The Highway Loss Data Institute says insurance claims for collisions increase by nearly 20 percent in December, a number which is thought to be conservatively low as many fender-benders go unreported.
- Stress is likely to cause aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding and late braking, but also distraction as driver’s minds drift toward their shopping lists or holiday plans.
Perhaps the biggest worry is that many stressed drivers do not realize they are causing a problem. They blame other drivers, increased traffic flow, and bad weather for making their drives miserable, when they are likely all experiencing a common—and dangerous—distraction. If you know someone who fits this bill, be sure to forward them a link to this article to help keep the roads as stress-free as possible this year!
If someone you love was injured in a holiday car accident in New Jersey, attorney Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. can help you and your family the get justice you deserve. Call our offices today at 877-360-0183 to begin your FREE, one-on-one consultation. Your call is free, and we do not charge you anything unless we win your case.