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What To Do If You Get In A Car Accident Over The Holidays?

The risk of getting into motor vehicle crashes is exponentially higher during holidays than on regular days. Statistics show that the week between Christmas and New Year is typically the most dangerous time for drivers, followed by Thanksgiving. Alcohol consumption is one of the primary factors in fatal accidents during the holiday season, but so are speeding, traffic congestion, road rage, aggressive driving, inclement weather, reckless driving behavior, and distracted driving.

Further, drivers are more likely to get into a car accident over the holidays on certain days and at particular times. Most car crashes occur on the weekend in the early morning hours and late at night. 

What Should I Do Immediately Following a Car Accident Over the Holidays?

Moments after a motor vehicle accident are overwhelming and scary. Questions such as “How will I  pay my medical expenses?” “Will my vehicle get fixed?” start to creep in on top of the obstacles associated with recovering from your bodily injuries.

car accident over the holidays in chicago

To bring some clarity to a very stressful time, our skilled Chicago car accident attorneys have outlined a few essential things to keep in mind following an auto accident: 

  • Seek medical treatment promptly. The earlier you seek medical attention, the earlier you can start recovering from your injuries. If you put this off, the pain and other symptoms might worsen and you could also find it more challenging to secure insurance coverage for your medical bills, lost income, and other financial losses.
  • Stay at the accident scene and wait for the emergency services and the police to arrive. If possible document everything, including the name and contact information of the at-fault driver, the number plate and vehicle registration of the vehicle involved, and the contact information of all eyewitnesses. 
  • Ask your doctor if you have to stay home from work. When seeking medical care for your physical injuries, remember to ask your doctor if you have to stay home from work. If rest is an essential component of your recovery--as is often the case with catastrophic injuries--you'll be entitled to financial compensation for any days you spent at home over the holidays.  
  • File an insurance claim. While you may be scared to deal with your insurance company over the holidays, filing your accident claim now will serve two crucial purposes: (i) it'll preserve your ability to recover monetary compensation, and (ii) it'll ensure that you can secure financial compensation as soon the holiday season is over.
  • Don’t dwell on your accident injuries or the accident. Although it's crucial to take care of yourself and protect your right to an insurance settlement, it's also critical not to dwell on the deadly accident or your personal injuries. Once you do what's required, give yourself a break and spend meaningful time with your family and friends.
  • Hire an experienced holiday car accident lawyer to handle your personal injury claim. If you have an accident claim, you don't have to handle your claim on your own. Instead, you can hire an auto accident attorney to handle your claim for you. Even though you must still remain involved, your automobile accident lawyer can do what is required to protect your legal rights during the Holiday Season; and then, once the holiday season is over, you can shift your focus back to recovering the financial compensation you deserve.

Unfortunately, insurance providers are in business to make profits, and one of the ways they do this is by undervaluing or denying injury claims. Before accepting any insurance settlement offer following an accident on holiday, contact the experienced auto accident lawyers at CCAL. We can arrange a no-cost initial consultation with our DuPage County car accident attorneys, who can advise you on the best legal options, so you can get the monetary compensation you need to recover. Call our personal injury lawyers today at (312) 300-2515.

What are the Most Dangerous Holidays for Driving?

Again, statistics show that driving over the holidays is more dangerous than driving on regular days. In 2019, for instance, the daily average of traffic fatalities was 102 on the United States roads. But on six major holidays, the U.S Department of Transportation reports that the average number of fatalities increased to 119 per day.

holiday season

Every holiday has a different level of accident risk depending on historical traffic accident data. Here are some of the most dangerous holidays for drivers and motorists:

  1. Christmas to New Year: Typically, the period between Christmas and New Year is the deadliest period for driving in the United States. This typically includes the week between December 24 and January 2. In 2017, there were a total of 297 traffic fatalities during the Christmas period.
  2. Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving is the second dangerous time for driving. In 2018, 513 people died in motor vehicle accidents during the 4-day period around Thanksgiving. Fatal crash statistics also show that Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for motor vehicle travel, making the risk for a motor vehicle accident much higher than regular days.
  3. Labor Day: The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2018, 414 Americans died in the 3.5 days around Labor Day. Research also shows that traffic crashes on Labor Day accounted for over 10% of the total traffic accidents recorded in September of 2018.
  4. Fourth of July: 194 Americans died in auto accident fatalities around the Fourth of July in 2018, which is also one of the most common days for drunk driving arrests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that between 2014 and 2018, 812 drivers were killed in drunk driving accidents with inebriated drivers.

Related Content: Illinois Car Accident Statistics

How Do I Prepare for a Holiday Trip?

To help avoid motor vehicle accidents and injuries, it's essential to ensure your car is properly maintained at all times. Before going out this holiday season, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends you adhere to these basic safety tips:

  • Get a routine maintenance check of your vehicle’s battery, fluids, tires, and brakes.
  • Make sure your wipers are functioning and your windshield is clean, and that you have adequate washer fluid.
  • Clean and check your vehicle’s lighting system to make sure everything is in good working order.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Ensure it contains gloves, a flashlight, a bottle of water, and a blanket, along with a few basic tools, such as flares and jumper cables in case of a breakdown.

Always ensure your cell phone is fully charged when heading out on road trips and keep a list of emergency numbers. Map out your destination and check road traffic and weather conditions before you go, while letting your family and friends know your destination and expected time of arrival. If a breakdown occurs, pull over as far as possible from moving traffic, notify the authorities, and wait outside your car, until help arrives.

Be Prepared: How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

What Steps Should I Take to Stay Safe Over the Holidays?

Although driving during the holidays is incredibly risky, there are many ways you can stay safe. Here are some recommendations:

  • Don't drink and drive: Alcohol is common around the holidays, so if you plan to drink, always make sure you have a sober driver and never drive after you have been drinking.
  • Avoid driving during peak travel times: Plan your travels in advance when the roads are less congested and there's no heavy traffic. Typically, the least busy times are on weekdays between Monday and Thursday, especially in the early morning hours.
  • Consider alternative means of travel: Flying is a much safer mode of travel, and you need not worry about other drivers and the potential for car accidents. If you're planning a long road trip around the holiday season, consider taking the train or flying instead.
  • Make sure you have adequate auto insurance coverage: If you get into an auto accident while traveling during the holiday season, your auto insurance company will perhaps cover it. However, it's a brilliant idea to check your insurance coverage before you head out and consider raising your auto insurance policy limits if you're concerned about the increased risk of auto accidents.

CCAL Is Here for You This Holiday Season!

The holiday season should be a joyous time but, sadly, the risk of an auto accident is far greater. If you or a loved one was injured by a negligent driver, contact our law office today. Suffering bodily injuries over the holidays is challenging enough but receiving the financial compensation you deserve shouldn’t be. 

The experienced car accident attorneys at CCAL have helped thousands of car accident victims recover the compensation they deserve and we can help you too. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Chicago personal injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515 .

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