New Year’s drunk driving risk

The days spanning the New Year’s holiday can pose greatly increased risks to citizens of being involved in accidents caused by drunk drivers.

According to information provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, the days that span the New Year's holiday each year have a much greater rate of fatalities due to drunk driving accidents. Statistics from the DOT for the year 2013 show a big jump in deaths resulting from fatal vehicle accidents involving impaired drivers between Christmas and New Year's.

Specific details for these two holidays and others through the year include the following:

  • Over the 30 hours identified as the Christmas holiday period, a total of 11 lives were lost to drunk drivers.
  • Over the 30 hours identified as the New Year's holiday period, a total of 25 lives were lost to drunk drivers.
  • Over the 102 hours identified as the Thanksgiving holiday period, a total of 50 lives were lost to drunk drivers.
  • Over the 102 hours identified as the Fourth of July holiday period, a total of 50 lives were lost to drunk drivers.

Even though the overall death toll was higher for Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, it should be noted that those two holidays spanned more than three times the number of hours than did New Year's. When that difference is factored in, New Year's clearly was the most dangerous drunk driving period. It is also important to be aware that in addition to death, serious personal injury can leave victims suffering after such collisions.

More data corroborates the risk

Mothers Against Drunk Driving data shows that Texas had the most number of automotive fatalities due to drunk driving in 2011 of all states in the country. Further records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration make it clear to see that Harris County residents should take special note as it led the state in 2012 for impaired driving accident deaths.

Data of note includes:

  • Texas registered 3,398 automotive fatalities. Of those, alcohol was involved in 1,296.
  • Harris County registered 362 automotive fatalities. Of those, alcohol was involved in 166.
  • Dallas County registered 84 deaths involving impaired drivers.
  • Bexar County registered 78 deaths involving impaired drivers.
  • Tarrant County registered 50 deaths involving impaired drivers.

In addition, the NHTSA records from 2001 to 2005 compared holiday December days to 25 non-holiday December days and found that for the former, 40 percent of all vehicular fatalities involved whereas the rate of deaths attributed to alcohol for the latter category was 28 percent.

Help is available and important

If a drunk driving accident occurs, it is important that all victims and family members seek legal help promptly. Assistance with compensation is the best way to secure proper justice in these cases.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury