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The Winter Road: Most Dangerous Time to Drive in Alabama

December 5, 2023 Personal Injury

Driving is an integral part of our daily lives, providing convenience and freedom.  However, as the season change, the risks associated with traveling north Alabama’s roadways likewise change. Arguably the most dangerous time to drive in Alabama is here:  December.

While the most dangerous day to drive is in November (Wednesday before Thanksgiving) and the most fatal collisions occur in the month of October, December has the most car accidents with injuries of any month.

Statistics consistently show that December, and particularly the time period from Christmas Eve to New Years’  Day, is the most dangerous time period to drive in Alabama.

Several factors combine to increase the risk of driving during the holiday season:

Factors Making December the Most Dangerous Time to Drive in Alabama

There are four factors that all combine in the month of December that lead to more automobile collisions that any other month of the year:

  1. Poor Weather Conditions:  In Alabama, December is one of our wettest months. If it gets cold enough, we can also get a few days with ice, sleet, or snow.  Even if the temperature doesn’t drop, the increase in precipitation after the relatively dry autumn months leads to an increase in collisions.
  2. Increase in Traffic:  By mid-December, people begin traveling for the holidays. The statistics show that more people are out on the highways during December when compared to most months. Christmas Eve is the second busiest day on America’s roadways, only trailing the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving.  This increase in traffic congestion throughout December contributes to an increase in car accidents.
  3. Holiday Celebrations and Impaired Driving: Festive occasions often involve alcohol consumption, leading to an increase in impaired driving incidents. The combination of holiday celebrations and winter weather can create a lethal mix on the roads.
  4. High School and College Students on the Road: By mid-December, high school and college students are done with their fall semesters. They lack oversight during their winter break and are likely to engage in risky driving behaviors, such as riding with multiple friends or drinking and driving.

How to Drive Safe this Holiday Season

There are several ways to adjust your driving habits to stay safe during the holiday season:

  • Adjust your Driving Habits:  In heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions, reduce your speed and pay extra attention to vehicles in front of you.
  • Put Down the Phone:  Distracted driving combined with heavy traffic is a recipe for a disaster.  Consider turning off notifications on your phone during this time period.
  • Avoid Impaired Driving: When in doubt, call an Uber or have a friend pick you up if you have been drinking.
  • Limit Teenager Driving: If possible, limit your teenager from driving in adverse weather or driving with a car full of friends.
  • Plan Ahead for Travel: If you can avoid traveling the roadways on Christmas Eve, New Years’ Eve, and New  Years’ Day, you will decrease the chance of being in a car accident.

If You are in a Car Accident During the Most Dangerous Time to Drive in Alabama

If you happen to be the victim of a car accident during the holiday season, please consider reviewing these resources and blog posts:

While driving is an essential part of our lives, understanding the risks associated with the most dangerous time of the year to drive in Alabama is crucial for your safety.  By taking proactive measures and adopting responsible driving habits, you can navigate this challenging period for driver safety.