We know what the songs say: This is a wonderful, happy, giving time of year. Families are already starting their travels to and from Edinburg to enjoy Christmas with loved ones.
Unfortunately, the holiday season also has a darker side to it: impaired drivers who cause traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 40 percent of traffic-related fatalities during the winter holidays involve an intoxicated driver. During the rest of the year, the figure is still high -- 28 percent -- though significantly lower than at this time.
Let's take a look the percentages of fatalities caused by impaired for each of the winter holidays:
- Thanksgiving: 35 percent of traffic-related deaths are caused by impaired drivers
- Christmas: it goes up to 41 percent
- New Year's: the highest winter holiday of them all is at 58 percent
Please be careful. We are right on the doorstep of the most dangerous holidays.
According to an interactive survey by Harris, alcohol consumption over the holidays breaks down like this:
- 16 percent: adults who say they consume more alcohol than usual over the holidays
- 22 percent: those who attend a Christmas work party and say that they feel pressure to drink
- 50 percent: Americans who say that alcohol is a part of their family's seasonal gatherings
- 96 percent: adults who say they've reported to work hung over after a party or they know someone who did
The CDC has one more number to share: 25,000. That represents the number of people who injured in car crashes caused by drunk drivers during the winter holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.
Those who have been hurt -- or who have a loved one who has been injured -- in a car crash caused by a drunk driver can pursue maximum compensation for all damages, including medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning power and more. You can discuss your legal options with a skilled attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.