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Avoiding Automobile Accidents This Holiday Season

We never want to think of the holidays as a time when there’s potentially negative consequences happening on the roadways, but unfortunately it’s a reality.

As we’re approaching the holiday season, it’s a good time to consider the prevalence of automobile accidents and take measures to avoid being part of one. Automobile accidents can lead to not only death or injury, but also personal injury lawsuits if you’re found to be the party at fault.

So how do the holidays stack up in terms of car accidents?

In Rhode Island, as well as throughout the nation, some of the most common holidays to see accidents include Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Some of the blame lies on the fact that there are often snowy, icy and overall hazardous winter road conditions that can impair driving, but in many cases these accidents are the fault of drivers. For example, drivers may be have been drinking at a holiday celebration and then get behind the wheel, or they may be sleepy after spending the day at a family member’s house.

There can also be a sense of urgency when it comes to driving around the holidays, as everyone is in a rush to make it to their destinations.

That begs the question, how can you avoid car accidents and a potential personal injury lawsuit this holiday season?

With these tips:

  • Don’t drink and drive—even a little. You may think that just one glass of wine at your office holiday party won’t be a problem, but just a little alcohol can seriously impair your ability to drive, particularly when coupled with dark and snowy or icy conditions. If you are involved in a car accident and you’re found to have alcohol in your system, you can face both legal and civil consequences.
  • Avoid texting your friends and family to let them know you’ll be at the party soon. You may think you’re just sending an innocent text, but that text can quickly turn into an accident and you’re likely to be the party at fault.
  • Try to minimize how often you drive at night. This can be tricky during the holiday season since it gets dark much earlier, but try to leave holiday gatherings before it’s dark, whenever possible.
  • Watch for pedestrians during the holiday season. It’s not just other cars you have to be on the lookout for—defensive driving also involves being aware of pedestrians because an alarming number of car accidents involve a pedestrian. This can become particularly true during the holiday as people are out shopping for the season and may be walking from store-to-store or visiting shopping centers.
  • If you have to travel out of town for the holidays, try to avoid the busiest travel days. If possible, travel on the actual holiday as opposed to the day before or the day after because roadways will be less crowded and there’s less likelihood of an accident occurring. If you do have to travel on a busy traffic day, check the road conditions beforehand and try to choose paths and roadways that may be less risky.

If you or a member of your family does become involved in an unfortunate automobile accident this holiday season, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can serve as your ally and guide you through the steps that need to be taken.



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