The holiday season is a time for celebration. This year, in particular, families reunited after the 2020 Christmas where many chose to stay home due to shutdowns and sheltering at home. As the days move closer to the coming of a New Year, loved ones will be traveling from state to state and border-to-border.
However, a happy time can quickly turn horrific when motor vehicles violently collide, a more likely occurrence during the holidays. While Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday travel season with an average of more than 4,500 fatal crashes nationwide, Christmas dominates, with the average number of deaths exceeding 8,000. Drunk driving and speeding account for about 60 percent of those fatalities.
Virginia’s numbers practically match the national average with 33 percent of DUI-related deaths and 31 percent of speeding fatalities. Other states that you may travel through while visiting family and friends have even higher incidences of accidents:
- Nationally, Connecticut ranked first with 43 percent of Christmas crashes involving driving under the influence. Texas was second at 41 percent, and Rhode Island ranked third at 40 percent.
- The top states for fatal speeding accidents saw Rhode Island placing first at 55 percent, with five states tying for second place at 46 percent, none of which border Virginia.
- States that are safest for season travel include Wyoming and Utah, both with less than 10 percent of fatal drunk driving accidents. Florida ranks last in speeding-related fatalities at 11 percent.
What will 2022 hold for Virginia drivers?
While the number of motor vehicle accidents went down in Virginia over the past two years, the percentage of deaths rose. Simply said, there were fewer accidents, but a higher percent of those accidents caused fatalities – a scary trend as the country tries to open back up.
Unfortunately, no matter what you do to help prevent car accidents, you are still at risk of being hit by another vehicle. Remind your family and friends to buckle up, slow down and get someone else drive when they’ve been drinking. If you are involved in an accident, find out what types of compensation you may be entitled to before you settle your claim with an insurance company.