People worldwide celebrate New Year until late at night, often with alcohol. The holiday period can range from one to four days, depending on how you choose to celebrate and what day of the week the new year falls.
Every year, Coloradans look forward to celebrating NYE with friends and family. But when traffic accidents occur, the holidays become anything but fun. In fact, New Year’s Eve is one of the most deadly nights on the nation’s highways.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimated 427 traffic fatalities for the 2022 New Year’s Day holiday, with a 90% confidence interval. However, social activities are more challenging to anticipate due to the unprecedented COVID travel restrictions.
Holidays are traditionally a time of travel, making the roadways more congested across the US. In addition, prior years’ traffic data suggest that driving on New Year’s Eve could be especially dangerous or fatal.
Another analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that January 1st is the deadliest day on average for alcohol-related crashes in the nation.
Car travelers have the highest fatality rates of any major transportation based on deaths per passenger mile. Alcohol consumption around the holidays is a major contributing factor to motor vehicle crashes.
Some may stay home and take shelter during the holidays, but many will still travel, primarily by car. With the increased alcohol consumption during New Year’s Eve celebrations, it’s inevitable for drunk driving accidents to increase in the hours that follow significantly.
In this post, we will share some shocking New Year’s Eve accident statistics: we hope this will remind our Colorado neighbors to stay safe and refrain from driving after driving going into 2023.
Surprising New Year’s Eve Accident Statistics
- According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) statistics, an average of 70 Americans sustain fatal injuries in New Year’s Day car crashes. Of those crashes, all vehicles involved at least one driver, pedestrian, or bicycler with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit (.08).
- Alcohol impairment accounts for 62% of all New Year’s Eve crash deaths. That’s more than two times the average rate for the rest of the year (the annual average is 35%).
- The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports an average of 300 drivers’ lives; lost to traffic fatalities during Christmas and New Year’s week
- In December, about 15,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic accidents over a recent five-year period. USDOT
- Drunk driving is the cause of at least a quarter (about 28%) of death in December traffic fatalities.
- The National Safety Council (NSC) estimated that between 300 and 500 Americans died during the 2021 New Year’s Day holiday in traffic collisions.
- The National Safety Council also estimated about 35,000 to 53,000 people sustained non-catastrophic injuries during the holiday period.
- Seatbelts saved about 152 lives during the 2021 holiday period from Christmas to new years eve.
- In 2018, 29 percent of all traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver whose BAC exceeded the legal limit of .08.
- Over the past six years before 2021, the new years day average for traffic fatalities was 12.2%, which is higher than the rest of the annual holiday averages.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident with a Drunk Driver
No matter how cautious you are behind the wheel, anyone on the roadways is subject to an accident. This is especially true during the holiday season when there is more traffic congestion and a higher likelihood of drunk drivers on the road. Despite your best efforts, you could still sustain injuries in an accident.
Here are a few tips for safer driving during the holiday season from mothers against drunk driving (MADD):
- Designate a driver who agrees to stay sober on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
- Stay the night at your friend, family, or the host’s home if you can.
- Drink responsibly, and don’t allow a friend drinking heavily to get behind the wheel.
- If you are hosting a party, help guests arrange transportation. Sometimes a host can even be partially liable for letting a party guest leave their home overly intoxicated and cause an accident.
- Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had just one drink. Don’t let your friends or family drive even if they’ve had only one or two drinks.
- If a friend or family member appears impaired or intoxicated, take their keys to prevent them from driving.
- Call a family member or friend for a ride. It’s not embarrassing, and you could save lives by doing so. Even if you feel shy about asking, that’s better than causing a severe accident.
- If you see a drunk or impaired driver on the road, call the police to prevent them from causing a traffic collision.
Have you been injured due to a Drunk Driver on New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve?
If you or a loved one sustained injuries, or you lost a loved one to a car accident with a drunk driver on NYE, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Denver personal injury lawyers or Denver wrongful death lawyer. We encourage all drivers to stay safe, and alert and celebrate responsibly,
We can discuss your rights and financial compensation. With extensive experience in dealing with these cases, we have what it takes to fight against drunk drivers and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
In addition, we vigorously pursue legal action against the negligent drivers who caused you or your family harm. The establishment, party hosts, or restaurants may also be liable for serving them.