Are There More Truck Accidents Over the Holidays?
The holidays are a time for giving, togetherness, and joy—but they’re also a time for deadly crashes.
There are more motor vehicle accidents over the holidays—specifically truck accidents. Why is this the case? How can you stay safe? Keep reading to learn more.
Why Are There More Accidents during Holidays?
A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which looked at traffic data over the last 15 years, found that fatal accidents increase on certain holidays.
In Ohio, fatal crashes increase on the following holidays:
- Thanksgiving Day (264% increase over other days in November)
- Christmas Day (222% increase over other days in December)
- Labor Day (121% increase over other days in September)
- Memorial Day (5% increase over other days in May)
Other holidays, like New Year’s, can also be dangerous for drivers. In 2021, 10 fatal crashes were reported—double the year before.
Many of these accidents involve passenger vehicles like cars and SUVs—people driving to get home for the holidays. Traffic increases over the holidays as more people travel, increasing the likelihood of crashes. The accidents might occur because a driver was speeding, texting, driving under the influence, or simply because of bad road conditions.
But a good percentage of these holiday accidents involve large trucks. Why is that?
Why Are There More Truck Accidents?
Currently, about 70% of Americans shop online (about 268 million consumers). During the holiday season, Americans are buying even more. Since 2021, more Americans have bought their holiday goods online than in a brick-and-mortar store.
All of those goods need to get from the store or manufacturer to the customer’s front door—and that’s where commercial trucking comes in.
Over the holiday season, the increased number of trucks on the road means a higher chance of a truck accident. What’s worse, truckers are often pressured by their employers to get to their destination ASAP, especially around the holidays.
Though there are strict federal regulations that are supposed to prevent unsafe practices, many trucking companies simply ignore them. The extreme demands of the holiday season prompt trucking companies to prioritize profits over safety. These companies routinely push their drivers to complete as many deliveries as possible in the shortest amount of time. Drivers are pushed to meet unrealistic deadlines—resulting in overwork and fatigue.
If you’ve read our previous post on drowsy driving, you know how dangerous it is to drive while tired. Now imagine driving a vehicle weighing 80,000 pounds with extra-large blind spots, in worsened road conditions, and you have a recipe for disaster.
What Can You Do to Avoid a Truck Accident?
It’s best to practice defensive driving all year round, but it’s particularly important during the holiday season. Remember that there will be more traffic on the road, including trucks, when you travel for the holidays.
Never assume that the drivers around you will follow the rules of the road!
Here are a few tips to stay safe on the road:
- Leave more room. Give semis and other large trucks a wide berth. Extra space helps keep you safe in a dangerous situation (sudden stops, a truck rollover, or tire blowout).
- Avoid their blind spots. Trucks have a larger blind spot than cars. Stay out of their blind spots whenever possible. (If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.)
- Pass with care. Whenever passing a truck, use the left lane. That’s because their blind spots are smaller on the left side. When you get over, leave a lot of room between your car and the truck behind you. You don’t want to cut off a truck: they can’t stop quickly!
- Pay attention when merging. Large trucks don’t do anything quickly. They don’t stop quickly, turn quickly, or change lanes quickly. When merging, don’t assume that a truck will be able to yield to you.
We hope these tips will help you avoid an accident this holiday season.
What If You Get in an Accident with a Truck?
If you’re involved in a serious accident caused by a truck, Casper & Casper can help.
Call us today to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney about your case. We’re here to answer your questions and help you understand your options for justice and compensation.