The holidays can be a dangerous time of year for Texas drivers. With more people traveling to and from shopping centers, or to celebrate with their loved ones, the roads can become congested with traffic.
Additionally, the sun sets earlier this time of year, which means more time spent driving in the dark. This can create visibility issues for many drivers. In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that drivers’ visibility is limited to 250 feet with normal use of headlights at night. That range doubles to 500 feet when high-beams are turned on. Nighttime driving can be especially difficult for drivers ages 60 or older.
Common holiday driving hazards
These environmental factors alone can increase the risk of being involved in a crash. However, ESH Today identifies four common driving habits many Texas drivers engage in this time of year. They include:
- Distracted driving: As drivers try to keep in touch with friends and family or search store hours, the use of handheld devices behind the wheel often increases. When accidents caused by distracted driving occur, they are usually devastating since they happen at full speed.
- Impaired driving: Holiday festivities and end of year celebrations are common and often involve drinking. Some drivers may get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Drug-impaired driving is also common after a night of celebrating.
- Pressured driving: The holidays bring a lot of stress to many Texas drivers. This can result in speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring traffic signals, and other aggressive behavior. Even skilled drivers can make catastrophic mistakes when in a hurry.
- Fatigued driving: Tighter schedules, late-night celebrations, alcohol and drug impairment, and fewer hours of sunlight can increase the risk of fatigued driving during the holidays.
According to a report by Value Penguin, Christmas and New Year’s ranked lower than other holidays in terms of traffic fatalities between 2011 and 2015. However, the death toll on both holidays still ranked higher than the daily national average. Houston was ranked the deadliest city nationwide on New Year’s. San Antonio ranked the deadliest city nationwide for Christmas.
Injured in a crash? Consult with an attorney today
Should you find yourself in a car wreck this holiday season, it’s crucial that you speak to an experienced auto accident attorney. You may be eligible for compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages, or other losses associated with your crash.
Contact the Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood today to schedule a free case evaluation.