December has arrived, and that means the holiday season is officially upon us. This time of year is typically associated with gift giving, family visits and celebratory feasts, but it can also be an especially treacherous time to be on the road. Insurance companies typically see a marked rise in claims this time of year due to a number of factors. Today, we’ll look at a few of the most common culprits of holiday accidents.
According to Progressive Insurance, accident claims spike by roughly 34 percent on Black Friday. Holiday shoppers cause increased traffic congestion in roadways and parking lots all over the country. The stress associated with holiday shopping can also make people less attentive and more prone to accidents. Drive slowly when navigating through parking lots, and resist the urge to hurry to your shopping destination.
For many people, alcohol consumption is a regular component of holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, not all of these folks resist the urge to get behind the wheel after drinking. The night before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve tend to be especially heavy drinking nights. Avoid driving after dark on these days if possible, or use a taxi service or public transportation to get to and from holiday parties.
This is also a time of year when many drivers travel hundreds of miles to visit friends and families. Likewise, driver fatigue and increased traffic loads on interstate highways can make for dangerous driving conditions during the holiday season. In some places, snowy roads can also pose a threat to drivers. If you’re traveling far this time of year, consider alternative transportation options such as trains and planes. If you must drive, take care to stop when you feel tired and travel with multiple drivers if possible.
If you are involved in an accident this season, don’t panic. Make sure everyone’s alright, contact your insurance company and document as much information as you can about the accident. For more information about what to steps to take following an accident, check out our earlier blog entry here.