Road Deaths Expected to Increase over New Year

In addition to the more than 300 road deaths over the Christmas weekend, The National Safety Council estimates another 364 fatalities are expected during the three-day New Year’s holiday period.

The National Safety Council also estimates 37,200 may have been seriously injured on the roads during the Christmas holiday, and another 41,900 during the New Year’s holiday.

The two holiday periods fall at the end of a particularly deadly year on the roads. Preliminary NSC estimates indicate traffic deaths are up significantly through the first 10 months of 2016 compared with the same time period in 2015.

Tips to ensure a safer holiday season include:

  • Wear a seat belt on every trip. About 160 lives will be lost over the holidays because people are not buckled up.
  • Make sure children are restrained in safety seats that are appropriate for their height, age and weight.
  • Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation. Impairment begins with the first drink.
  • Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
  • Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free.
  • Do not allow teens to drive with their friends. A single young passenger can increase a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44 percent.
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. MyCarDoesWhat can help drivers understand the ins and outs of features such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning systems and backup cameras.