Is It Dangerous to Drive on the Winter Holidays?

Christmas and New Year’s Day are almost here. While Austin, Texas may not get the same wintery conditions that Colorado or Michigan might get, we are susceptible to holiday traffic and isolated days of true wintry weather.

Two of the most dangerous holidays to drive a car are Christmas and New Year’s Day. New Year’s Day is particularly dangerous, because it is a holiday that encourages drinking and staying up past midnight to celebrate the New Year.

As such, alcohol-related deaths increase up to about 50 percent in traffic fatalities on that day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This makes New Year’s Day the leading holiday for alcohol-related traffic deaths.

Both holidays lead to increased traffic, which allows for the potential of greater conflict on the road. Additionally, these winter holidays include the longest average mileage driven of any other holidays.

For instance, Christmas or New Year’s averages 275 miles in driving for a trip. The average for a long trip for the rest of the year is 261 miles. This can change depending on whether these holidays are on a weekend or not.

Wintry conditions are also another source of accidents. While the average low temperature for Austin in December and January is in the lower 40s, we can have isolated days of below freezing temperatures, including very rare days in which we dip below zero degrees.

As with most cities, bridges and overpasses in Austin are abundant. These and other shaded areas are the first areas to ice over and the last to melt. Additionally, pavement friction is reduced in icy conditions.

The smartest thing you can do in the event of freezing weather is to reduce your speed, increase your following distance and pay close attention to other drivers. Other drivers may be less cautious than you are.

Need an Austin, Texas Car Crash Lawyer?

If you are in need of legal advice or representation, then contact our auto wreck attorney at The Law Offices of Aaron Allison. Our firm represents clients in the Austin-area who have been wrongly injured in auto accidents.

[Did You Know? Thanksgiving is the most dangerous holiday for driving.]

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney

Source: http://www.txdot.gov/driver/weather/winter-travel.html



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