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Does Michigan See More Accidents During the Holidays?

December 27, 2021

Michigan, like many other states, has more people on the roads during the holiday season. That means more distracted drivers, more people driving impaired, and more out-of-state visitors unfamiliar with our roads and snowy weather conditions. All of this can result in more accidents.

And statistics show that the rate of fatal car accidents increases by over 10% during the holidays. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that drunk driving is particularly common during the New Year’s holiday: 42% of fatal crashes during this holiday period involve a driver over the legal limit.

To address this, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says that during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, law enforcement officials throughout the state will be participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. To protect lives, there will be more patrols on the roads through January 1, 2022.

And there will be zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.

“Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking or taken drugs endangers you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road,” says Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Fatalities on our roadways are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance is deadly, illegal and selfish behavior.”

Holiday Accident Statistics

From 2016 to 2020, during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, 84 people were killed in traffic crashes throughout the State of Michigan. That includes 34 who died in alcohol-involved crashes.

In last year’s holiday period, 15 people died in crashes on Michigan roads and highways.

The 2019 Michigan Annual Drunk Driving Audit conducted by the Michigan State Police found that 41.9% of all fatal crashes that occurred involved alcohol, drugs, or both. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals says that December is one of the most dangerous months because of an increase in impaired driving.

Preventing a Holiday Accident

DPS says that the most important thing is to stay focused on where you’re going when out on the roadways this holiday season. Michigan motorists should take care so that an automobile or semi accident doesn’t ruin your holiday festivities.

If you plan to consume alcohol during holiday parties, be certain to have a sober designated driver. You can call a taxi or rideshare, a friend, or family member to help you get home safely. Have these plans set before you get into the holiday spirit.

In addition, you should follow these tips to keep accidents to a minimum:

  • Stop, look, and listen;
  • Wear your seat belt;
  • Know your vehicle’s blind spots, including those in rearview mirrors and behind windshield pillars;
  • Remember that truck drivers have a large blind spot on their right-hand side, so be careful when driving next to a big rig;
  • Don’t text and drive;
  • Don’t drink or use controlled substances and drive;
  • Always focus on the area where you will be driving in 10-12 seconds and anticipate other drivers’ actions;
  • Don’t tailgate and give yourself at least a three-second cushion between you and the car in front of you;
  • Don’t speed, especially in bad weather; and
  • Be courteous to other drivers.

Enjoy your holidays and be safe!

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There were 9,078 alcohol-involved crashes in Michigan with 326 alcohol-involved fatalities statewide in 2020. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in an auto accident in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. We will help you pursue compensation against those who are responsible.

For a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in Grand Rapids, contact Buchanan Firm. Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home or in the hospital, to accommodate you.

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