The holiday season presents unique challenges for motorists on the road; these challenges can increase the risk of a collision. Below are some of the most common causes of car accidents around the holidays.

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Impaired Driving

One of the leading causes of car accidents during the holidays is driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The holidays mean many opportunities for parties where alcohol is served, including office holiday parties, Christmas or Hanukkah dinners, and New Year’s Eve parties. 

In addition to the risk of drivers getting behind the wheel after partying a little too hard, many drivers also have to contend with drowsiness or sleepiness. Many people may travel for half a day or more to get to a holiday party or dinner, meaning that they may feel especially fatigued if they choose to head back home late at night after their party or dinner has ended. 

Finally, distracted driving also poses a problem during the holiday season, especially as travelers check their phones for directions, or text or call their holiday party or dinner hosts.

Heavy Traffic

Of course, more people out and about on the holidays means heavier traffic, even during off-hours and weekends. Heavy traffic can cause people to be late for appointments, work or parties, which can definitely leave drivers frustrated. Even being stuck in traffic without being in a rush can cause people to get angry and impatient. Unfortunately, these negative emotions also cause drivers to make bad decisions behind the wheel, including speeding, tailgating, making unsafe lane changes, weaving through traffic, and/or running stop signs and red lights. 

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Adverse Road Conditions

Wintertime in New Jersey also means the potential for poor road conditions. Snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain can make driving especially hazardous. Heavy precipitation and fog can also reduce visibility, while December also has the fewest daylight hours, meaning that drivers are more likely to be on the road during the nighttime. 

What Should I Do If I Get Into a Car Accident During the Holidays?

If you do get into a car accident during the holiday season, you should remember to take the following steps:

  • Stop as close to the accident scene as possible, wherever the safest place may be (always move out of traffic if possible). If you drive off, it can be considered a hit-and-run.
  • Make sure you or others involved in the accident haven’t suffered any serious injuries; if someone appears to have been hurt, call 911; if no one has been hurt, make sure you at least notify the police about your accident, so that they can prepare a police accident report (which you may need for a later insurance claim).
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with each of the drivers involved in the accident
  • If possible and safe to do so, try to take photos or video of vehicle damage, skid marks in the road, the traffic controls at the scene, and the weather, lighting, road, and traffic conditions at the time of the accident

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Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled personal injury lawyers at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Englewood, Fair Lawn, Fort Lee, Garfield, and throughout New Jersey. Call 201-231-7847 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.