Car Accidents and The Holidays
According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) data, the state recorded 23 car crash fatalities from December 16th to January 1st, 2017. The victims included 16 car drivers, 4 passengers, 2 pedestrians, and 1 bicyclist. Out of the total 20 victims killed while traveling in vehicles, 11 were not using a seat belt.
Looking at these dreadful statistics during the peak holiday season, one can understand why the NHTSA has termed December 23rd and 24th as two of the “deadliest days of the year.”
The Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) at the University of Alabama conducted a study, which showed that during the six-day period, which includes Christmas, the number of car accidents is 18 percent higher than Thanksgiving.
Drunk Driving Leads to a Spike in Car Accidents during Holidays
As many as two in five car accident fatalities that take place during the Christmas holiday period involve one or more drunk drivers. This shocking insight was revealed in a study carried out by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis.
The problem is that when you are in a celebratory mood during the holidays, it becomes harder to resist the tendency to overindulge. It is best to remain sober if you have to drive after a holiday party or make alternative arrangements to reach home safely.
Higher Stress Levels during Holidays Result in Car Accidents
The urgency to arrive at the party on time, negotiating a traffic jam in a hurry, getting conscious about your dress, indulging in too much holiday shopping, and coordinating multiple holiday events are all things that increase your stress levels. This can lead to distracted driving, careless errors on the road, and ignoring traffic rules, which increases your risk of a car crash.
Fatigued Driving during Holidays is as Risky as Drunk Driving
When you are attending or hosting frequent late-night parties, drinking more than usual, and running many different errands, such as shopping, cooking and decorating, you may develop persistent fatigue within a few days. Driving while you are fatigued or sleep-deprived during holidays can have devastating outcomes.
More Cars on the Road during Holidays Makes Driving Riskier
The month of December almost always has more automobiles on the road than the rest of the year. To make matters worse, thousands of drivers from other towns and from outside Alabama will add to the mix during holidays. First-timers will not be familiar with your roads, which increases the possibility of accidents.
You May Neglect Car Maintenance during the Busy Season
One of the possible reasons why car accidents rise during holidays is that people are either too busy and postpone their car repair or maintenance, or they may use their savings on holiday parties, clothes and gifts instead of prioritizing their car upkeep. A sudden car breakdown or malfunction could prove to be dangerous for you as well as other drivers during holidays.
Contributory Negligence Rule in Alabama
Car accident related personal injury cases in Alabama are often settled through insurers or after you file a civil lawsuit. You have a right to recover economic as well as non-economic damages from the at-fault party that caused your personal injuries.
It is important to note that unlike most other states, Alabama applies the rule of contributory negligence if you are partially at fault for your injuries in a car accident. According to this rule, if you contributed to your accident, you are not entitled to recover any financial damages from the other party.
For instance, if you were using your cell phone while driving and got hit by another motorist who was driving negligently, the court may find you partially at fault and not award any compensation to you for your injuries resulting from this car crash.
Time Limit to File Your Car Accident Personal Injury Claim
Under Alabama personal injury laws, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties in most cases. If you miss this deadline, the court will probably refuse to admit your case, and you will lose your right to recover compensation.
Choose an Accomplished Alabama Car Accident Attorney to File Your Claim
Considering Alabama’s contributory negligence standard and the statute of limitations regarding your personal injury claim, your first priority after receiving medical care should be to speak to a proven and experienced car accident lawyer.
Chances are that the other driver will try to put a part of the blame on you in an attempt to deny you the just compensation you deserve. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. in Mobile, AL understand these issues, and we will move quickly to secure evidence and build a strong case for damages. We will explore every potential legal avenue to ensure your rights are fully protected, so you can receive your rightful compensation. Call us today at 251.473.6691 or contact us online for a free consultation.