The holiday season is almost synonymous with travel, whether it’s a weekend getaway for a young couple, a week-long trip with the family to grandmother’s house, or a few weeks back home after the semester has ended. In fact, according to the United States Department of Transportation, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holiday periods are the busies travel periods each year. 1
In comparison to the number of trips taken throughout the year, long-distance trips increase by 54 percent during Thanksgiving and 23 percent during Christmas and New Year’s.2 Corresponding to the rise in holiday time travelers is the number of accidents that occur during long distance road trips. Understanding why accidents occur frequently during road trips, is the first step towards preventing an accident as well as receiving compensation for the injuries or losses sustained during a road trip accident.
What Causes Road Trip Accidents?
There are several reasons why the chances for an accident to occur during a road trip is significantly higher than the risk during normal day to day driving patterns. One of the major reasons why road trips can increase the chances for an accident is a driver’s unfamiliarity with the roadway systems which sometimes adjusting to weird street designs or confusing routes can impact a driver’s clarity and focus. Distracted driving is also a prevalent problem during road trips, because typically there is more passengers present, there is a dependency on electronic devices to provide directions, and the long boring stretches can increase the chances of adjusting the radio or eating in a distracting manner.3
Another reason for road trip accidents, especially those occurring during the holiday period, is the increased chances for impaired driving as it is common for long road trips to occur after a holiday party such as a New Year’s Eve gathering where alcohol is consumed in excess.4 One of the other major factors behind road trip accidents is the likelihood for speed related accidents. Speeding is dangerous in any circumstance, but during a holiday road trip when there is an influx of holiday travelers, not adhering to posted limits can have deadly consequences which corresponds to the reason why the highest number of fatal speed-related collisions occur on roadways with a speed limit lower than mph.5
Other common reasons for a road trip accident, can include driver fatigue triggered by unusual sleeping behaviors or excessive number of hours driving as well as a vehicle equipment failure brought on by the significant amount of traveling or vehicle operation conducted in a short time span.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered a loss or harm during a road trip accident, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call The Bruning Law Firm at 314-735-8100.