Nothing mars the beauty of the holiday season like a car accident. The holidays are already the most expensive time of year for many people, and then suddenly you’re faced with your insurance deductible, medical bills, and unexpected—and unwanted—time off of work. Unfortunately, car accidents are more common during the holiday season. A number of factors contribute to this, and understanding those factors can help you keep yourself and your family safe.
Injured in a holiday crash in Montgomery? The team at McPhillips Shinbaum is here for you. Call us at 334-262-1911 to set up a consultation now.
Expect Dense Traffic
To start, there’s just no way around the dense traffic of the holidays. There are more people in town visiting loved ones, and even worse, many of those people are not familiar with Montgomery roads. This means frequent stops and starts, missed turns, and even people driving the wrong day down one-way roads. When you head out to your local shopping mall or restaurant, expect packed parking lots and angry drivers riding your back bumper as you look for a spot. All of these factors make an uptick in accidents inevitable. While traffic is heavier throughout the entire holiday season, it’s often worse on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as the days immediately surrounding them.
Sharing the Road with Stressed-Out Drivers
For many, the holidays are a happy time to make family memories and traditions. For others, the holidays are a time when their to-do list is longer than ever, they are reminded of family losses or estranged relationships, and their workload is heavier than they can manage.
All of these stressors are too much, and people feel more comfortable taking out their rage behind the wheel of their vehicle. What might be a minor inconvenience at other points of the year can be the tipping point for stressed-out drivers. Be aware of this, and avoid making rude gestures or laying on the horn when someone cuts you off. You don’t want to be on the wrong end of someone’s road rage.
Poor Weather and Unsafe Roads
While this isn’t such a big problem in Alabama, it is still a contributing factor a few times a year. We rarely get snow in Montgomery, even if it is only a dusting. This actually makes it more dangerous than northern areas where they get heavy snowfall. Those who live in areas with snow every year learn how to drive in the snow, and they adjust their speed and handling accordingly at the first sign of snow.
Here in Montgomery, we simply aren’t all that used to snow. When there’s a light dusting on the road, we tend to panic. We overcorrect, we try to drive our normal speed, and we end up in the ditch as a result. Not only should you adjust your driving to account for snow, you should be extremely cautious of others who may or may not be in control of their vehicles.
One of the saddest parts of holiday driving is the increase in impaired drivers. There’s never an excuse for impaired driving, and yet there are many more drunk drivers on the road during the holidays. People enjoy a little too much at dinner after a long day of shopping, they head to their company Christmas party, or they try to take the edge off at a stressful family Christmas event.
Too many people overestimate their driving skills or underestimate how much they have had to drink. You should always be wary while driving and don’t expect people to drive predictably or do the right thing—do what you must to protect yourself from a crash. Be especially careful on the weekends and late at night, when people are most likely to be heading home from parties.
Fight for Compensation with the Team at McPhillips Shinbaum
Have you been injured in a car accident in Montgomery? You could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. Let the team at McPhillips Shinbaum advocate for you. Call us at 334-262-1911 or send us a message online to schedule your free consultation.