The Howdy Blog

Al Boenker Insurance Blog

Jingles, lights, shops, pumpkin spice drinks... Holiday season always seems beautiful and peaceful but like almost everything, there is a dark side: craziness, a lot of people shopping Christmas gifts and so on. Statistics show a hard truth, the holiday season is risky for drivers. But instead of worrying, let's focus on facts, prevention tips and saving time on driving.

When we look for car crash statistics, each time we found a recurring fact, there are specific months that continue to have such a large average of car accidents: November and December.

This table below represents the activity in 2017, as you can notice October, November, and December have the highest number of crashes.

Total Crashes
Month Number Crash rate
per 100 million
Jan.528,000 216.00
Feb.467,000 206.00
Mar.557,000 208.00
Apr.522,000 191.00
May.571,000 201.00
Jun.522,000 186.00
Jul.488,000 170.00
Aug.537,000 190.00
Sept.522,000 199.00
Oct.593,000 213.00
Nov.570,000 221.00
Dec.575,000 216.00

Source: RS 2017 ARF, CRSS 2017; Vehicle miles traveled (VMT), Federal Highway Administration, Traffic Volume Trends, December 2018 (monthly) and 2017 Highway Statistics (VM-1) (annual). *Crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Traffic Safety Facts Annual Report.

But if we look at data in 2018 from the Texas Department of Transportation October, November and January are the risky months in Texas.

Fatal Crashes and Fatalities by month in Texas

MonthFatal CrashesFatalities
Jan.296322
Feb.259280
Mar.279309
Apr.258286
May291319
Jun.277313
Jul.293319
Aug.256280
Sept.232264
Oct.298332
Nov.302328
Dec.262287
Total3,3033,639

Source: Texas Department of Transportation

What is the cause?

There are many reasons to explain the data above. In November, for example, deer-related accidents increase. Also, Black Friday has a starring role with people driving radical to rush and take advantage of sales but believe it or not, it isn't the craziest days for shopping. The worse day seems to be December 23. So, keep your eyes open if you decide to hit the stores in a last-minute dash.

Most of all, alcohol is the number one cause of fatal crashes and fatalities. Thanksgiving and Christmas can become worse than a nightmare due to the face that drivers don't take designated a sober driver.

Data from 2017 report the percentage of car accidents during the holiday season caused by alcohol

New Year 31%

Thanksgiving 35%

Christmas 38% 

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Driving under the influence has terrible consequences and unfortunately, victims aren't the only ones who drink, innocent people are also impacted. Damaged vehicle, bodily injury, getting arrested or death could be the terrible end of this sad story and nobody wants starring it.

Take it heart by following these tips to be safe during the holidays season and fully enjoy it:

  • Designate a sober driver before, if you don't have anyone, request an Uber or Lyft. There are a lot of ways to avoid driving in bad conditions. 
  • Always wear a seat belt, whether you're riding or driving.  
  • Do not exceed the speed limits
  • If you see impaired drivers call 911 until you're sure they're safe. Be an indifferent person is not the best way to prevent car accidents. The sooner you act, the safer everyone is.
  • Be sure you have the right auto insurance policy. Collision Coverage is the best option to protect your car after an accident but also think about getting Personal Injury Protection Coverage, it pays yours and your passenger's medical bills, lost wages and nonmedical costs. All auto policies in Texas included it.

What time of day do most road accidents happen?

Sadly, car accidents happen all the time but it's a fact that there are specific times when car accidents peak.

The National Highway Traffic Safety reports that Friday noon to 3pm, 3pm-6pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm is the risky time for drivers. This can be related to hours after work and people excited to be at home or have fun. Drive safely! Better to arrive late than never. 

Risky Hours to Drive at Christmas

Noon to 3 pm

3 pm to 6 pm

6 pm to 9 pm

Remember, be aware and cautious are the best way to enjoy the Holiday Season. Now, you know more about the topic, let's spread the info, it could help more than you know. Also, do your part, take prevention, think safe and enjoy the holiday season with responsibility.