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Why does drunk driving increase over the holidays?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Drunk Driving |

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2020, one-third of all drunk driving fatalities occurred between Christmas and New Year’s Day. As the holiday season approaches, concerns over drunk driving increase.

This concerning trend is not a mere coincidence. Several factors contribute to more people making the poor decision to drink and drive during this time of the year.

Parties and alcohol consumption

The holiday season often brings about a sense of celebration and festivity. People gather for parties, family get-togethers and various social events. These occasions often involve the consumption of alcohol. While enjoying a few drinks in moderation is acceptable for many, some individuals underestimate their alcohol tolerance or give in to peer pressure, leading to impaired judgment and an increased likelihood of making the dangerous choice to get behind the wheel after drinking.

Stress levels increase

The stress and hustle and bustle of the holiday season can lead some people to seek solace in alcohol. The pressures of gift shopping, meal preparations and family dynamics can become overwhelming, driving some to consume alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Prevalence of alcohol

Another contributing factor is the prevalence of alcohol at holiday gatherings. Many people enjoy a glass of wine, a festive cocktail, or a beer while celebrating with loved ones. In such situations, it becomes easy to lose track of consumption amounts. This casual approach to drinking can result in individuals underestimating their level of impairment, which is a recipe for disaster on the road.

More time off work

The long holiday weekends often result in more people traveling. Whether it is to visit family or enjoy a winter vacation, the increased travel activity can result in more people being on the road and more driving under the influence.

The holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness, but it is also a period when the risk of drunk driving incidents escalates. Impaired driving can lead to devastating consequences. Despite the holidays, remembering to never drink and drive is essential.