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Do Drunk Driving Accidents Increase on New Year’s Eve?

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Do Drunk Driving Accidents Increase on New Year’s Eve?

December 28, 2020

Thousands of motor vehicle accidents are caused by a drunk driver during the holidays; these accidents kill hundreds of people and injure thousands more. Because holidays are a time to celebrate, some people choose to take their celebrations too far and end up getting behind the wheel too intoxicated to drive. As a result, fatal motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol are an ever-present threat during holidays in the U.S.

Basic Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the period of 2010 to 2018, drunk drivers caused over six thousand fatal motor vehicle accidents during holidays in the U.S. An average year sees approximately 667 fatal crashes attributable to alcohol. Each holiday accounts for about 21 percent of these crashes, although Christmas Day comes in as the holiday with the fewest crashes. 

Alcohol Is Involved in a Significant Proportion of Holiday Accidents

During the 2010-2018 period looked at by the NHTSA, about 37 percent of the more than 16,200 fatal crashes across the U.S. occurring during a holiday were attributable to drunk driving; in no year were alcohol-related fatal crashes less than 35 percent of all fatal crashes. At its highest, alcohol-related crashes accounted for 39 percent of all fatal crashes. On average, alcohol-related holiday motor vehicle accidents resulted in 745 deaths per year.

However, alcohol-related fatal accidents taking place on a holiday only represented two percent of all fatal crashes that occurred from 2010 to 2018. While Thanksgiving along with Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day each represented 21 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes on a holiday, Christmas Day only accounted for 15 percent. 

The Majority of Crashes Take Place on Local Roads

The NHTSA’s data also showed that most alcohol-related holiday accidents take place on local roads such as state highways, local surface streets, and county roads. State highways represented the plurality of accidents, with 27 percent of all alcohol-related fatal accidents on holidays. Local streets and county roads were close behind at 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Conversely, U.S. highways and interstates only accounted for 12 and 10 percent of alcohol-related holiday fatal driving accidents.

Read more: Is Driving While Under the Influence a Crime or Traffic Offense in NJ?

Most Holiday Drunk Driving Accidents Involve Younger Adults

Younger adults were more likely than other age groups to be killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents on a holiday. Specifically, 21 to 24 years old represented 15 percent of fatalities, 25 to 34 year olds the largest share of any age group at 25 percent, and 35 to 44 years olds representing 17 percent of fatalities. In fact, 25 to 34 year olds’ share of fatalities of 25 percent was equal to the share of fatalities of persons aged 45 to 64. 

Read more: What Makes it a Wrongful Death?

Largest States Had Largest Share of Alcohol-Related Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents During the Holidays

It may come as no surprise, but the top four states by percentage of deaths in alcohol-related accidents on the holidays include four of the five largest states by population. Texas ranked first, with 13 percent of deaths, followed by California with nine percent, Florida with seven percent, and Pennsylvania with four percent. 

Contact a Hazlet Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Drunk Driving Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a drunk driving accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC represent clients injured because of drunk driving accidents in Freehold, Long Branch, Edison, Woodbridge, and throughout New Jersey. Call (713) 264-4400 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 25 Village Ct., Hazlet, NJ 07730, as well as offices in East Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

“The attorney working on my personal injury case was knowledgable, courteous, and payed careful attention to every detail. He was sure to address any questions and concerns thoughtfully and respectfully. I have had an excellent experience interacting with the firm and I highly recommend the law firm of Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza to others.”

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