Drunk drivers take the happy out of holidays

As the holiday season approaches, New York residents should be educated about the increased dangers associated with drunk drivers.

With only a few weeks left before Thanksgiving and the ensuing winter holiday season, many New Yorkers' attentions are on the upcoming festivities. Special parties, dinners and more with friends and family can yield treasured time and memories. Sadly, for many, this time of year also brings an increase in the number of people who die at the hands of drunk drivers.

Such was the case for multiple people last year when a drunk driver crashed into multiple vehicles and hit five people in New York. The New York Daily News reported that the woman refused to take a breath test but a blood test showed her to be significantly intoxicated. Crack pipes were also found in her possession.

Drunk driving fatalities during holiday times

According to USA Today and the National Safety Council, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's comprise three out of the six most deadly holidays in the United States due to drunk driving. BACtrack.com notes that in addition, the number of drunk driving arrests made from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day also increases each year.

Of these three holidays, Thanksgiving is rated as the most dangerous. This could be in part due to the fact that the Thanksgiving holiday always spans a long weekend. Christmas and New Year's Eve sometimes fall in the middle of the week which can reduce the amount of partying and number of drunk driving incidents. In 2015, however, Christmas and New Year's Day will both land on Fridays so the risk this year could be greater than in other years.

A look at the statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compared drunk driving fatalities during Christmas and New Year's in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The results showed the following:

  • During the New Year's holiday, a daily total of 54 drunk driving fatalities were recorded. That translated into 41 percent of all vehicular fatalities for that holiday.
  • During the Christmas holiday, a daily total of 45 drunk driving fatalities were recorded. That translated into 38 percent of all vehicular fatalities for that holiday.
  • During the non-holiday December days, a daily total of 33 drunk driving fatalities were recorded. That translated into 28 percent of all vehicular fatalities for that time period.

Clearly the holiday times appear more dangerous than non-holiday days. When looking at the rest of the year, the spike over holidays is also seen. For that period, a daily total of 36 drunk driving fatalities were recorded. That translated into 31 percent of all vehicular fatalities during that time period.

Getting help is important

When a drunk driver causes an accident, victims need help. Anyone in this situation should call a lawyer promptly for assistance with seeking proper compensation .