Holiday stress is never fun, and you may be one of many motorists who find yourself getting angry as you are stuck in traffic waiting to finish up your shopping or travel to see friends and family. While you are on the road, it is important to keep from getting angry because many drivers won’t be keeping their tempers.
A recent State Farm Insurance study revealed that 32 percent of drivers are likely to become more aggressive and angry behind the wheel over the holiday season. According to the Washington Post, the drivers most likely to experience and act on road rage during the holidays were found to be drivers under the age of 49 and parents.
Car accident lawyers in Johnson City know that a driver who is angry is more likely to engage in behaviors like excessive speeding, cutting off other motorists or failing to yield the right-of-way. When a driver does these types of behaviors, that driver significantly increases their chances of being involved in a car accident.
How to Stay Safe During the Holiday Driving Season
An increase in driver aggression over the holiday season comes at a very bad time, since this is also a time of year when there are more people on the roads. People tend to drive more and take longer drives during the holiday season because they may go to visit friends and family or because they may be finishing off holiday shopping.
More drivers, and more angry people, are a recipe for more accidents – which helps to explain why traffic crash data shows that there is a 20 percent increase in auto accidents in the month of December. A 10-year study of traffic crash information shows that the most dangerous time during this risky month is the six days surrounding December 25. During this six-day period, there are 18 percent more accidents than Thanksgiving weekend (which is also a time when a high number of traffic accidents and deaths occur). There are also 27 percent more car accidents than on New Years Eve, which is a high risk night for drivers because of the fact that many people go out and drink and then drive home.
If you need to be on the roads during December, as most people do, you need to be aware of the added risk that comes with this time of year. When possible, try to drive during off-peak times or during days when there are fewer motorists on the road. December 24 and December 25 are recommended as days when the roads are likely to be safer, because most people are done with their shopping by late in the day on the 24th and most people have already traveled to their Christmas destination if they celebrate Christmas. The most dangerous day, on the other hand, is expected to be the Friday before Christmas when those traveling to see friends and family will be on the roads with commuters heading home from work and last-minute shoppers scrambling to get everything done.
In addition to trying to time your trips to safer days, you should also make sure that you keep your own temper in check when driving and that you leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you won’t be tempted to speed or get angry if you have to sit in traffic.
By: Evan Meade