Introduction to the Most Dangerous Holidays to Be Driving on the Road

Introduction to the Most Dangerous Holidays to Be Driving on the RoadMillions of people celebrate various holidays with alcoholic beverages, and millions of people spend the holidays with other individuals. Many of these gatherings take place at one home with multiple people in attendance. Unless all individuals have a designated driver, many of those guests will be driving home with some form of alcohol in their system. Statistics show that there is actually an increased number of drivers on the road during the holidays, presumptively because of visiting with friends and family for celebrations.[i] The amount of alcohol in that person’s blood stream will indicate whether or not they can safely operate their motor vehicle.

Blood Alcohol Concentration

blood alcohol concentration and Most Dangerous Holidays to Be Driving on the RoadIn order to receive a DUI in the United States, the driver must be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A standard DUI will result in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more for standard vehicles.[ii] Even though a driver can have less than a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration, they can still be charged with a DUI.[iii] Now, every individual reacts to alcohol in their system differently than the person next to them. While one person who has a blood alcohol concentration of .02% would be incapable of driving, others with a 0.09% could feel very little effects of the alcohol and drive without too many problems. Even though the person with the 0.09% blood alcohol concentration feels perfectly fine, if they are pulled over by a police office they still may receive a DUI. Now, the percentage is much lower for commercial vehicles. The blood alcohol concentration level must not exceed 0.04% if driving a commercial vehicle.[iv] Finally, for underage drinkers, the BAC level must be 0.00% or that minor can be given with an underage DUI.[v] An extreme DUI has the BAC level of 0.15% or higher.[vi]

Drinking and the Holidays

Driving on the road can be generally dangerous, and the added factor of alcohol could make the roads a lot more dangerous. The odds of getting into a car accident are increased during times when there are a lot of cars on the road, like during rush hour.[vii] There are many other added factors that increase the likelihood of a collision on the road, including weather changes and other uncontrollable factors. Collisions skyrocket when drivers on the road are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.[viii] According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2001 and 2005, 36 fatalities occurred per day on average in the United States as a result of crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver.[ix] This number increased dramatically even more during certain times of the year, like summer and the holidays.[x] For example, the number rose to 45 fatalities a each day during this time period around Christmas time.[xi] That number rose even higher, to 54 fatalities per day during the new years holiday. Keep in mind those numbers are from over ten years ago, which means the amount of fatalities have most likely increased. Also, those accident records are only for fatalities, this does not include accidents with serious injuries or even minor injuries.  For more info see the article online at USA today on most dangerous holidays.

Most Dangerous Holidays to Be Driving on the RoadThe period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been coined “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers.[xii] Evidently, nine of the ten deadliest days for teen drivers on United States highways fall between May and August, right between those two major holidays.[xiii] According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, teens are starting to drink sooner and sooner every year, which also contributes to the death of teens from drinking related auto accidents.[xiv] It is estimated that 5.8% of teens between 16 and 17 and 15.1% of teens between 18 to 20 years old reported drinking underage in 2010.[xv] The United States Department of Transportation found that a total of 3,115 teens ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2010.[xvi]

In 2009, the deadliest holiday because of alcohol related auto accidents was the Fourth of July.[xvii] Between 2005 and 2009, there was an average of 144 driving related fatalities on the Fourth of July.[xviii] Among that 144, nearly 10% of the fatalities were teens.[xix] As stated previously, many individuals travel during the holidays as to celebrate with friends and family. Statistics show that Thanksgiving weekend is actually the most traveled holiday of the year, closely followed by New Years Eve.[xx] Drinking in general is increased during the holidays, which increases the number of DUIS, auto accidents, and alcohol related fatalities.

The United States National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that 40% of traffic related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers.[xxi] This number is increased nearly 12% from any other day in the month of December.[xxii] In December 2010, 2,597 people died in motor vehicle accidents.[xxiii]

Conclusion to the Most Dangerous Holidays to Be Driving on the Road

There are hundreds of holidays celebrated every year across the many religions and practices in the United States such as; Christmas, New Years, Hanukah, Cinco de Mayo, and many others. Many of these holidays, if not all for some people, involve some form of alcoholic drinks for those celebrating. For many individuals, the holidays are spent with friends and or family members to celebrate, which means that many people are away from home and potentially drinking before driving. Unless all individuals have a designated driver, many of those guests will be driving home with some form of alcohol in their system.

[i] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[ii] See DUI & DWI in Arizona. Department of Motor Vehicles. (Accessed January 6, 2017) http://www.dmv.org/az-arizona/automotive-law/dui.php

[iii] See  Blow Under .08 On a Breathalyzer? You Could Still be Charged with DUI Life Safer https://www.lifesafer.com/blog/blow-08-breathalyzer-still-charged-dui/ (Accessed January 6, 2017)

[iv] Id.

[v] Id.

[vi] Id.

[vii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[viii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[ix] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[x] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xi] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xiii] [xiii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xiv] [xiv] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xv] [xv] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xvi] [xvi] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xvii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xviii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xix] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xx] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xxi] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xxii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

[xxiii] See The Most Dangerous Times on the Road BAC.Track (Accessed January 6, 2017) https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road