Car Accidents: How Dangers Increase Around the Holidays

long line of cars sitting in trafficDid you know car accidents occur every minute in the United States? Around the holidays, though, these numbers can increase drastically. It’s important to understand the potential problems that exist around the holidays and how they can impact so many drivers.

The three big holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day prove to be busier on the road. You must recognize the dangers and understand ways to stay safe whenever you’re on the road. Here are some of the main dangers about which you should know:

Call our firm today at (800) 294-6637 if you suffered an injury in a car accident.

Learn more about the potential dangers below.

More Drivers in a Hurry

Around the holidays, countless drivers take to the road. Whether they’re going out shopping, going to a party, or getting together with family, there are often drivers who are in a hurry. They speed up to get to their destination quickly, sometimes going well above the speed limit.

Speeding is one of the top causes of car accidents. It’s something that causes drivers to lose control, potentially resulting in the negligent driver crashing into others on the road. Even worse, the high speed at which drivers travel can cause catastrophic injuries when a collision occurs.

For drivers to stay safe, it’s imperative to recognize signs of speeding and other reckless driving. Drive defensively, and be sure to watch drivers around you. If you see someone coming from behind you quickly, make sure you stay away from the vehicle as the driver can lose control at any given moment.

Out-of-Town Drivers

The holidays also bring in out-of-town drivers who are visiting their families. While they may not be bad drivers, those who come in from different cities and states may not know the streets and highways. These drivers can create a lot of confusion, including performing specific actions such as:

  • Not recognizing speed limits
  • Not recognizing traffic signals
  • Not recognizing streets and highways

Often, these drivers can move too slowly on the road while they’re looking for certain streets. Speeding is one potential danger, but even driving well below the speed limit can also be hazardous. Driving too slow creates the possibility for rear-end collisions to occur.

Inclement Weather

The temperature starts dropping around the holidays. Not only is it colder, but the rainfall and fog create significant visibility problems. It also puts drivers in a difficult position trying to navigate the road hazards that exist, such as large water puddles, black ice, and snow.

Many people who never drive in inclement weather are unaware of the ways they need to drive to stay safe. As such, they travel as though the weather is normal, matching speed limits, not prepping their tires or vehicles, and failing to adhere to traffic laws.

Speeding in inclement weather—even going the actual speed limit—can be dangerous. You’re supposed to drive with the weather conditions in mind. If it means you need to drive slower than you typically would, that’s what you should do.

Also, if your tires do not have adequate tread, you can lose control of your car when dangers exist on the road. Large puddles can cause your vehicle to hydroplane, which is when your tires still rotate despite not touching the pavement, and you can lose control.

Black ice can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle, and it’s important to drive slower than you typically would under these conditions.

Holiday Parties

Around the holidays, there are countless parties. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks about safety when they’re enjoying time with their friends and loved ones. However, when holiday parties occur, it’s important for those attending to avoid drinking and driving.

For victims of this type of accident, it’s essential to recognize what problems exist with drunk driving accidents and potential social host liability. In Michigan, there are elements involved that can make the drunk driver and an establishment liable for these types of accidents.

In dram shop liability cases, certain elements must exist:

  1. The bar or restaurant recognizes the patron as visibly intoxicated
  2. The bar or restaurant continues to serve the intoxicated party alcohol
  3. The bar or restaurant makes no effort to stop the intoxicated party from drinking
  4. The bar or restaurant allows the intoxicated party to leave the establishment and drive

One way around drunk driving during the holidays is the use of rideshare vehicles. However, that can present many more dangers on the road.

Rideshare Vehicles

Rideshare vehicles are supposed to help prevent severe dangers on the road. Those who are drinking should book rides through companies like Uber and Lyft to get home safely. While rideshare companies should be a helpful resource, there are many dangers associated with them, as well.

  • Saturation of vehicles on the road: More rideshare vehicles on the road mean more congestion. Driving in heavy traffic becomes a potential danger, especially when Uber and Lyft drivers are looking for passengers on the side of the road. These drivers may miss traffic signs, stop in the middle of the road, or drive too slow for traffic.
  • Distractions from notifications: Uber and Lyft drivers receive notifications regarding passengers, and the driver can either accept or deny the fare. When they do this, the drivers are looking at their phones and manually select to accept or deny. These notifications cause drivers to take their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel.
  • Drivers not knowing the area: Many Uber and Lyft drivers from smaller towns go to the more populated cities to take fares. As a result, drivers may be unaware of where they are going or the traffic patterns in the new area. These drivers often make illegal U-turns to pick up their passengers, and in the meantime, create serious hazards.

Despite the promotion of rideshare vehicles as helpful resources, there must be regulations regarding how drivers operate. Uber and Lyft drivers must report accidents, but you should report it on your own just in case the driver fails to do so.

How Our Michigan Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You

When you suffer an injury because of someone else’s negligent action, you want to ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your rights. You should gather the required information from the other driver, taking photos, reporting the accident, getting medical treatment, and speaking with a lawyer.

The holidays are a difficult time on the road, and there are many situations where traffic backs up. You must be cautious on the road during this time because even though you may be a safe driver, you cannot prevent others from driving recklessly.

At Fieger Law, we’re committed to helping our clients get through the complex legal matters following a car accident. We want to help you pursue the compensation needed to cover the expenses associated with the accident.

Trust in our team to guide you from start to finish, focusing on your best interests every step of the way.

Call our firm today at (800) 294-6637 and discuss your potential rights with a lawyer. We offer free consultations to help you understand your rights without having to worry about financial commitments.

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