Every year it seems that vehicle accidents increase during the holidays. The simple fact is that there are more accidents occurring in the last five years than in the past 20 years. It doesn’t seem to matter where you live accidents are happening with more frequency. Recent events led me to Google statistics regarding vehicle accidents in Colorado to give you some data. While these are only regarding Colorado you can see just by reading the news that vehicle accidents occur all over the world, and at least from a new’s perspective they seem to happen with more regularity.
At the moment in Colorado most causes of deaths for teenagers are motor vehicle accidents. In fact 16 year-olds crash more often than any other age group. About 24 percent of teen drivers were killed in 2003 because of alcohol. These 24 percent had a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or greater. In 2004 96 teenagers died due to car accidents. Of the deaths in 2004 80 percent were a result of another teenager driver, and two thirds of the deaths were a result of not wearing seat belts.
According to the Colorado State Patrol injuries as a result of accidents or deaths were very high in 2001, but have decreased since 2003. In 2003 33, 360 crashes occurred and this was down by 4.8 percent since 2002. The number of fatal or injury crashes in 2002 to 2003 was 11,266 with a 7 percent decrease. The statistics for 2004 to 2008 could not be found on this site. So to quantify we were unable to prove if the 2008 year has seen an increase over the drops in 2003. However looking back at 1997 we can certainly see a sharp increase in accidents since 2000 started.
By doing research of the cars on the road and speaking with friends it has been easy for me to see that traffic accident do increase during the holiday months, even when you break down the 2003 statistics. More accidents occurred around dates of holidays, where it was easier to obtain alcohol whether as a teenager or adult.
The fact that holiday’s seem to see an increase in car accidents leads me to believe changes need to be made. I was a recent victim of a car accident in my neighborhood. On Thanksgiving morning I was heading to my brother’s home for the day. I had been parked on the street the night before, with my father’s car in the garage. When we pulled out of the garage we noticed my vehicle had been hit in on the rear driver’s side. The axle was damaged, as well as the tail light, bumper, and wheel well. When we first found my car there was no note regarding the party at fault. Luck did go my way and a note was eventually left and the matter has been resolved. The whole experience made me think about the millions of cars that have damaged fenders, side panels, and more. It seems that more cars are being driven with some type of accident damage prevalent. On the road driving on the highways I see more drivers talking on cell phones, fiddling with the radio, or even worse putting on makeup while taking on the phone and driving.
While my accident involved my unattended car, had I been in the vehicle or forgotten the parking break the damage could have been much worse. It is time that we all start to take notice of the statistics and the apparent increase in vehicle accidents. We all need to pay more attention to our driving, and what we do while driving. The next time it could be you injured or causing an accident. Just because we see the police, our protectors, driving down the road without using blinkers to turn at lights or even worse traveling from the left to the far right lane without signalling doesn’t mean we should follow their example. It is up to us to protect ourselves and our vehicles. More importantly it is up to us to teach our children the driving laws and that they should be adhered to. As the Christmas and winter holiday season approaches remember your driving safety and protect those you love.