December is already a stressful month. With the holidays, family events, and harsh weather, it can be harder to stay safe. With all these extra stressors, the last thing you need is an accident on your hands. Dealing with medical bills and a lawsuit won’t exactly lessen the holiday stress you’re already feeling. However, if you do get into an accident around the holidays, our talented attorneys will help you get the compensation that you deserve, and we’ll help to take the stress off of your shoulders as much as possible.
What Causes an Increase in Motor Vehicle Accidents in December?
There are many different causes of December accidents, such as an increase in traffic on the roads, more DUI’s because of more drinking at Holiday parties, and worsening weather conditions.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol causes major accidents because impaired drivers have a much harder time driving. They may get distracted by lights (street lights, tail lights, headlights, or even signs for establishments), causing them to swerve all over the road. They also have a much lower reaction time, meaning their ability to prevent an accident is much lower.
Over the past five years, on average, 300 people died in the week between Christmas and New Years because of drunk driving accidents. In 2016, 781 people died because of drunk driving accidents in the month of December.
Increase in Traffic
During the holiday months, especially in December, there’s an increase in traffic because there are more people going out to buy gifts as well as more people traveling to see family members. With an increase in traffic, there’s an increase in accidents.
Rushing and Aggressive Driving
Because there are more people on the road, there may also be more reckless and aggressive drivers. Everyone’s trying to get to their destination as quickly as possible so they can buy presents or see their family members, not taking into consideration that they may cause an accident because they’re speeding or driving recklessly. This state of mind is selfish and negligent.
As a driver, you owe a certain duty of care to all other drivers on the road. This means that you’ll put in your best effort—at all times—to make sure you’re driving safely. Speeding and driving aggressively breaks this duty of care, making a driver negligent, and putting them at risk for liability if an accident occurs.
Poor Weather Conditions
Another common cause of December car accidents is poor weather. In Minnesota, December averages about 9.3 snowdays, with an average of 12 feet of accumulated snow during the month. Poor weather conditions can cause many different types of accidents. If your car isn’t properly maintained, you may be liable for an accident caused in the snow.
How to Prepare for Winter Driving
It’s important to stay safe while driving in the winter, and there are many things that you can do to ensure that your car is safe for the winter roads. You’ll want to make sure that you’re driving a safe car, so if you haven’t had a check-up done on your car in awhile, that might be a smart move. You’ll also want to change to snow tires, and use snow chains in particularly bad weather.
You should also pack an emergency bag to keep in your truck in case of an accident. This bag should include food and water, blankets, an extra jacket, a flashlight, a portable charger for your phone, a shovel, an ice scraper, and rock salt, in case you need to get out of a snowbank or particularly icy spot safely.
How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian in December
As a pedestrian, you need to learn how to stay safe during winter months as well, as it can be dangerous for you as well. Make sure to wear brightly colored clothing, especially when walking at night. Bundle up, and let your friends and family know where you’re going and when should arrive. Avoid walking at night, and on streets that don’t have sidewalks. Make sure to bring a portable phone charger with you in case of an accident.
What to Do After a Car or Truck Accident
After an accident occurs, you should always contact the non-emergency police line to report the accident. They’ll come to the scene of the accident to file a police report. Don’t let anyone talk you out of filing a police report, as it’s vital evidence for your case. After the police show up, exchange information with everyone involved in the accident and gather the information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident. You should then take pictures of all vehicles, your injuries, and the surrounding area.
After you’ve collected evidence and spoken with the police officer, you should go to the emergency room to have your injuries evaluated. More serious injuries like TBI, neck, or spinal cord injuries may be noticeable right away, but internal injuries may not be noticed right away. Sometimes, adrenaline can mask the pain of your injuries for a little while. After you’ve received medical attention, you should contact an attorney for help filing your claim with your insurance company.
Contact a Minnesota Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in December, please contact us here at Sand Law. Our attorneys have years of experience getting our clients high settlements and trial wins. We’re here to help you. For more information, please contact us online by using our chat box option or by calling us at 651-291-7263.