Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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By the numbers: Impaired drivers and holiday traffic crashes

The old song insists that this is "the most wonderful time of the year." When you consider the gatherings of friends and family, the exchanging of gifts, the friendliness and holiday greetings of strangers, it seems that the song might be right.

Unfortunately, there is also a dark side to the season. Far too often, people get behind the wheel after they have consumed alcohol. The traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities that can result from drunken driving can ruin lives and shatter families.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 40 percent of traffic-related deaths over the holidays involve an impaired driver. The figure for the rest of the year: 28 percent.

Here's a look at the percentages when they are broken down by holiday:

  • Thanksgiving: 35 percent of traffic-related deaths involve an intoxicated driver
  • Christmas: 41 percent
  • New Year's: 58 percent

So the most dangerous holidays are just ahead of us.

Alcohol consumption over the holidays:

  • 16 percent of adults say they drink more than usual over the holidays
  • 22 percent of those who attend a holiday work party say they feel pressured to consume alcohol
  • 50 percent say alcohol is part of their family's holiday gatherings
  • 96 percent of adults say they have gone to work hung over after a party or know someone who did

One more number: 25,000. That's the number of people who will be injured in motor vehicle crashes caused by impaired drivers from Thanksgiving through New Year's.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash caused by an impaired driver, you have the right to pursue full compensation for all damages. For more information, speak with an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.

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