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Holiday Car Accident Statistics



person taking photo of car crash

From more people on the road to increased drinking and higher levels of stress, the holidays are a prime time for auto collisions. Accidents soar each holiday, with some being deadlier than others. That’s why there’s such a large push to urge driver’s to be as a safe as possible around any holiday, not just the end of the year holiday season.

There’s no surefire way to avoid accident. After all, that’s what skilled attorneys like those at Dan Rose Law are for. However, you can plan a safer holiday around accident statistics whether that’s simply avoiding driving or knowing to be on alert when seeing friends and family. Here are some holiday car accident statistics everyone should know.

The Four-Day Period

When studying accident fatalities, leading organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration look at a four-day period surrounding any given holiday. For instance, Christmas data would start on the day before Christmas Eve and end on the day after the holiday itself. This helps researches better understand crashes related to travel for each holiday.

During this time, researchers look at the number of fatal crashes on all holidays to determine an average. Then, they can weigh which holidays see higher or lower incidents. Determining the cause of these accidents is also highly beneficial in warning the public against often fatal dangers.

Drunken Celebrations

It should come as no surprise that one of the top reasons accidents happen around the holidays is alcohol. People often drink more while celebrating, and alcohol lowers your decision-making capabilities as well as inhibitions. So, all too many make the poor choice to get behind the wheel after having far too much to drink.

On the numbers end, 40 percent of car accident fatalities involve a drunk a driver during holidays. That’s up from 31% over the course of the rest of the year. Some states see even more of an increase with up to 64% of deaths on the road being alcohol related.

Fast and Furious

The holidays are hectic, causing many drivers to race to their celebrations while running late. Others speed to vent a little stress during this time. Regardless, higher speeds lead to more and deadlier accidents each year.

Anger is another reason people speed, but this emotion also clouds judgement. Holidays can be stressful times filled with family feuds, but it’s important to take a moment to cool down before you get behind the wheel.


Big meals, relaxing atmospheres, and waiting for your buzz to wear off can all make you sleepy. So can overextending yourself with trips to various homes or gatherings. Studies show that driving drowsy is just as dangerous as driving drunk. So, make sure you get plenty of rest and have some coffee if your schedule is jam-packed.


Texting and driving is dangerous, but many people don’t view talking on the phone while driving as an equally dangerous activity. Like texting, it takes your attention away from the road. Any attention diverted is enough to cause an accident whether you realize it or not.

Play it safe this holiday season and leave any calls or texts until you get to your destination. All of the above causes for accidents can quickly combine with a phone call, leading to deadly outcomes. If you avoid these crash-causing problems, you can ensure a safer and happier holiday for everyone. 

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