Rancho Cucamonga car accident attorney

Why Are Car Accidents So Common During the Holidays?

As we get into the holiday season, there is a significant increase in traffic in and around Rancho Cucamonga and other Southern California communities. More people are out and about doing their Christmas shopping, attending holiday parties, and just generally enjoying the festivities with their family members and friends. It comes as no surprise that with more traffic, there are a higher number of car accidents during this time of year as well.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more car accidents occur during the month of December than in any other month of the year. In particular, the days before, during, and after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are the deadliest on the roadways.

Frequent Causes of Car Accidents During the Holidays

Rancho Cucamonga area drivers know that the holidays have a tendency to bring out the worst in people. Although this is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”, it can also be a very stressful time for many of us. If we are not careful, this type of mindset can get us into trouble on the roads. 

There are several reasons why car accidents increase during the holiday season. Here are some of the most common:

Increased Traffic

As we touched on earlier, there are increased levels of traffic on the roadways during the holiday season which generally starts in early November and ends in early January. Higher levels of traffic cause congestion, which results in more car accidents. On a related note, people spend more time driving or riding in vehicles during the holidays, which also increases their odds of being involved in an auto accident.

Impaired Driving

The holidays are the most festive time of the year, which means parties and family gatherings where the alcohol flows freely. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the holidays are the deadliest time of the year when it comes to drunk driving. And in states like California where recreational marijuana is legal, driving while under the influence of drugs is becoming a bigger problem during this time of year as well.

Distracted Driving

Driving while distracted is another problem that has been getting worse as more and more Americans have acquired smartphones. During the holidays, people do so much running around that they are always looking for ways to save time wherever possible. Because of this, it is far more tempting for motorists to send and receive messages on their phones while they are driving. But messaging on a smartphone requires your entire focus, which means your attention is directed away from the roads where it should be. 

Drowsy/Fatigued Driving

All of the running around during the holidays also makes people tired and fatigued. This can cause more instances of drowsy driving. When a motorist is drowsy or fatigued behind the wheel, they run the risk of falling asleep and crashing into another vehicle, person, or random object. But even when they do not fall asleep, drowsiness limits a motorist’s peripheral vision, slows reaction times, and generally results in poor decisions on the road.

Aggressive Driving

With seemingly endless “to-do” lists and tight schedules to keep, motorists tend to drive more aggressively during the holidays than at other times throughout the year. Aggressive driving can include behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, illegal and/or dangerous passing maneuvers, rolling stops, and refusal to yield the right of way. Sometimes, aggressive driving behaviors cross the line into recklessness, making it even more likely that a car accident may occur.

Driving in Unfamiliar Areas

During the holidays, we see quite a few more out-of-state license plates in the Rancho Cucamonga area. This is to be expected with all of the visiting family members and friends that come in from out of town. The challenge with out-of-state drivers, however, is that many of them are not as familiar with the roads, which can cause them to get distracted trying to find their way around. 

Those who have traveled long distances coming to Rancho Cucamonga might also be tired and fatigued as they reach this area. And as we talked about earlier, this can lead to more incidents of drowsy driving and the problems that go along with being in this state of mind.

Increased Nighttime Driving

Driving after dark is always more difficult than driving during the daytime. During the holidays, a lot of the activities occur in the evenings after dark, in particular, parties and family gatherings as well as local events. There is also less daylight during the months of November through January, which means more nighttime driving by necessity.

One of the most popular holiday attractions here in Rancho Cucamonga is the Thoroughbred Holiday Lights display. This occurs during December of each year along Thoroughbred Street, Jennet Street, and Turquoise Avenue, bringing in an increased number of visitors to the area.

To address the heavy traffic and reduce the chances of pedestrian crashes, the city of Rancho Cucamonga has implemented “drive-thru only” access to the lights display during high-traffic evenings. This year, the display will be restricted to “drive-thru only” December 2 through December 24 from 5pm to 11pm.

Adverse Weather Conditions

While snow is pretty rare in Rancho Cucamonga, it occurs more frequently in some of the mountainous areas to the north of us. However, rain, fog, and other types of inclement weather are more common around here during this time of year. Whether like this can hinder visibility and increase the risk of drivers losing control of their vehicles.

Injured in a Car Accident in Rancho Cucamonga? Contact the Muhareb Law Group for Assistance 

The holidays can be a hazardous time for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in and around Rancho Cucamonga. For this reason, it is incumbent upon all of us to be careful as we are out and about in order to avoid a traffic-related accident.

In spite of your best efforts, accidents can still happen. If you or someone close to you got hurt in a car accident in Southern California, Muhareb Law Group is here to help! Call our office today at (909) 519-5832 or send us an online message to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.