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Holiday season brings increased risk of car crashes

It doesn't take a scientist to know that the roads are a little hectic and crazy during the holiday season. Anyone who has been out driving in the days surrounding a major holiday can attest to the fact that previously held laws of decency can sometimes fly out the window in the midst of the holiday rush. Still, the extent to which roads become more dangerous around certain holidays may be surprising.

Researchers found that in the six-day period surrounding Christmas, there are 27 percent more car crashes than New Years Eve. The days around Christmas also outpace Thanksgiving in terms of car accidents by 17 percent.

Experts say that there are two factors at play. First, there are more people on the road as we rush to travel to see relatives and race around town to get last minute gifts or to prepare for entertaining. Second, there is an increased rate of drunk driving on the roads during the holiday season, as revelers ignore their better judgment and get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink.

It doesn't matter what the reason is or whether it was a holiday or not, there is no excuse for drunk driving. Drunk driving puts the driver and their passengers at risk, as well as the countless other vehicles and pedestrians that they will pass on the roads. Drivers who engage in this negligent behavior and injured someone in a car accident must be held accountable for the full extent of the damage that they cause. This means medical bills, property damage, lost income from the time away from work, and in some cases can include compensation for the emotional harm associated with the crash.

Source: USA Today, "Holiday revelers urged to avoid drunken driving," Larry Copeland, Dec. 11, 2013

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