Do you know which night has the most DUI accidents? It’s not New Year’s Eve (that’s number 2), it’s not graduation night, and it’s not the 4th of July. It is Thanksgiving Eve, the night before Thanksgiving Day, and it’s the Holiday DUI Season.
Police officers consider Thanksgiving Eve or “Black Wednesday” to be the official start date of the “DUI Season”, which runs until the end of New Year’s.
An Increase in Drunk Driving Deaths
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates about 36 DUI deaths on a typical day in the United States. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, an average of 45 drunk driving deaths happen each day. That’s because Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas are among the top holidays for DUI accidents.
Police believe several factors are responsible for the increase in drunk driving deaths during the holiday season. First, many people celebrate the holidays with alcohol. However, most of us aren’t familiar with the alcohol content of seasonal drinks.
There is also an increased risk of accidents because many people travel for the holidays. More people on the road means a greater risk of accidents.
Finally, the roads are often icy and wet during this time of year. Although you may be fine driving under normal conditions, even a slight “buzz” can impact the ability to drive in ice and snow.
The NHTSA sponsors two campaigns during the holiday season. The first, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving”, is an educational campaign that runs from December 1 to December 11. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign runs from December 12 to January 1 and will feature sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols.
Staying Safe During the Holiday DUI Season
Ostroff Injury Law would like to join NHTSA’s drunk driving prevention efforts with these tips to help you avoid injury in a Pennsylvania drunk driving accident.
- Decide on a designated driver before attending holiday parties.
- Before drinking, hand your keys to the host.
- Know how to recognize an impaired driver. See our article “‘Tis the Season: How to Avoid Drunk Drivers during the Holidays”
- Always buckle up. Many DUI accident deaths occur because the victim is not wearing a seat belt.
- Drive defensively.
All of us at Ostroff Injury Law wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.