- More than 6 million vehicles are on Florida roads during the holiday season, increasing the risk of Christmas car accidents. These accidents occur for many other reasons.
- Besides crowded roads, impaired and reckless driving are other causes of holiday vehicle wrecks.
- The season’s stress contributes to more accidents involving aggressive driving or road rage.
- Fatigued and distracted driving are factors in holiday accidents as well.
- Crowded parking lots aren’t just dangerous to drivers. They’re also hazardous for pedestrians.
More than 34,000 vehicle accidents occurred in Florida in 2022. While an accident is bad enough no matter what time of year, Christmas car accidents are even worse. For those involved, they cast a pall over what should be a joyful time.
As you’ll learn in this article, there are several reasons why car accidents occur during the holiday season. Some reasons are issues throughout the year, while others are unique to Christmastime.
No matter what the reason, if you suffer an injury in a car wreck caused by someone else, please turn to The Eberst Law Firm. Our team of expert attorneys knows how to deliver results. We’ll put all of our skill and knowledge toward helping you obtain maximum compensation.
Increased Traffic Volume
The holiday season in Florida brings about a remarkable surge in traffic volume, with an estimated 6.3 million vehicles on the road. Experts attribute this substantial increase to two key factors: the holiday rush and an influx of tourists. People from various parts of the country and even the world flock to Florida to escape the cold winter and bask in our warm, sunny climate.
With more cars, trucks, and tourists crisscrossing our state, the likelihood of Christmas car accidents rises significantly. The holiday rush can lead to stressed and hurried drivers paying less attention to road safety rules. Combined with the added pressure of holiday preparations, it becomes a potentially hazardous mix.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Florida authorities blamed 32 accidents on DUI in December 2022. Only the months of April, May, and January had higher numbers. The festive spirit during the holiday season frequently leads to gatherings and celebrations. For many, these get-togethers involve alcohol consumption.
Unfortunately, too many people fail to make the responsible choice of finding alternative transportation when impaired. Some opt to get behind the wheel while under the influence, posing a significant threat to road safety.
DUI accidents often lead to devastating consequences. Impaired drivers don’t react fast enough to changing road conditions. They often exhibit a lack of judgment as well, such as driving faster than they do while sober. These impairments are not only dangerous for the impaired driver but also for other innocent road users who may fall victim to their reckless actions.
Navigating unfamiliar roads using GPS to reach holiday events, destinations, or even shopping locations is a common practice during the holiday season. However, it also increases the risk of distracted driving. Our state ranks No. 14 in the country in deaths attributed to distracted driving, with more than 500 deaths between 2019-20.
Drivers often take their eyes off the road to check directions, input addresses, or interact with their devices. This diversion of attention from driving to technology can result in accidents. The temptation to respond to text messages, check social media, or engage in other smartphone activities further adds to the distraction, creating a potentially hazardous road environment.
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
You already know aggressive driving and road rage can be deadly. We have the dubious distinction of being the second-worst state in the country in the number of road rage deaths – 1.64 per 1 million population.
But gunplay isn’t the only reason road rage on the highway is dangerous. The stress associated with holiday preparations, last-minute shopping, and navigating crowded roadways can trigger aggressive driving behaviors. These behaviors include excessive speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and other reckless maneuvers.
The high emotions of the season, combined with the added stress of travel and shopping, contribute to the potential for dangerous incidents, making roads less safe for everyone.
The holiday season often involves extensive travel, either to visit family and friends or to attend holiday parties. Long road trips, late-night driving, or extended hours behind the wheel can lead to driver fatigue. Fatigued driving can impair a driver’s reaction time, decision-making abilities, and overall alertness, making Christmas car accidents more likely.
Driver fatigue is particularly concerning during the holidays, as many push themselves to meet their social obligations, sometimes neglecting the importance of rest. The combination of late-night returns from gatherings and long drives can result in drowsy, exhausted drivers sharing the road with others.
Florida’s sunny winters are typically beautiful. But they can sometimes lead to sun glare on the roads. Sun glare can significantly reduce visibility for drivers. In the morning and late afternoon, the low angle of the sun can create blinding conditions, making it challenging to see traffic signals, road signs, and other vehicles.
In addition to sun glare, decorative displays are often a hallmark of the holiday season. While these festive decorations add to the joy and charm of the holidays, they can also be distracting for drivers. Elaborate holiday lights, inflatable decorations, and eye-catching displays can divert drivers’ attention away from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
Crowded Parking Lots
The Christmas shopping rush is a hallmark of the holiday season. Malls and shopping centers become bustling hubs, filled with shoppers searching for the perfect gifts. As people flock to these retail destinations, parking lots quickly become chaotic and crowded.
The chaotic environment of these parking lots can lead to a range of accidents, from minor fender benders to more serious collisions. Drivers often engage in impatient behavior, vying for limited parking spaces. Additionally, the increased pedestrian traffic in these crowded lots can lead to accidents involving shoppers walking to and from their cars. These crowded parking lots can become accident hotspots.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm if You’re Involved in a Christmas Car Accident
The Eberst Law Firm has a long track record of success. We have a lot of experience helping people hurt in Christmas car accidents through no fault of their own. We’ll protect your rights at every turn and work passionately to help you get every dollar you have coming to you. Use our online form or call 772-CALL-JON for a free case evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I stay focused on driving with so many holiday distractions on the road?
Minimize distractions by setting your GPS before starting your journey, avoid using your phone while driving, and maintain a safe following distance. Be patient and allow extra time for your trips to account for traffic and crowded parking lots.
Are there any specific laws regarding holiday decorations and driving visibility in Florida?
As long as your car decorations don’t cause distractions, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, your decorations can’t obstruct your view or distract other drivers. For example, you can’t have flashing blue, red, or red and white lights on your car. Florida law restricts those colors to police and emergency vehicles.
What should I do if I’m involved in an accident with a driver under the influence during the holidays?
If you are involved in an accident with a driver who is under the influence during the holidays, take the following steps:
- Ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Get your vehicle to a safe place if possible.
- Contact law enforcement to report the accident,
- Seek medical attention, even if your injury seems insignificant.
- Gather evidence at the scene, such as pictures of the wreckage. Also, ask witnesses for their contact information.
- Speak with an attorney to understand your rights and options for pursuing a legal claim against the impaired driver.