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Causes of Winter Car Accidents: A Rockville Lawyer Discusses

Maryland auto accident attorneyThe holidays are usually a happy time of year when people come together to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, the journey to seasonal festivities can quickly become tragic as people fall victim to the many dangers of winter driving.

Dangerous holiday driving habits

Poor road conditions and drunk driving are well-known driving dangers of the season. But they are just two of the many reasons why winter driving is dangerous in the DMV area. Here are a few lesser-known reasons why drivers should be cautious:

  • Longer Nights: As the days get shorter, many people find themselves behind the wheel during nighttime. This might not seem like a big deal, but according to the National Safety Council (NSC), “depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark.” Even with the help of headlights, drivers can only see 250 feet ahead of them. Headlights can also become dangerous when the headlight glare from oncoming cars temporarily blinds drivers.
  • Lack of Sleep: Between travel, work, gift shopping, and social engagements, sleep isn’t usually a priority during the holidays. Unfortunately, missing a little sleep can have big results. In terms of impairment, losing two hours of sleep is equivalent to drinking three beers, according to the NSC. Additionally, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that people who slept 6-7 hours a night were twice as likely to be involved in a crash as those who slept 8 hours or more. For those who are sleeping just a few hours a night, the results can be devastating.
  • Holiday Pressure: With packed schedules and financial obligations, the holidays can cause more stress than cheer. EHS Today explains how those feeling the holiday pressure might turn to unsafe driving activities, such as speeding or aggressive driving, in an effort to get to events on time. This can also lead to distracted driving as multitasking drivers use smartphones to check store hours or send a “Merry Christmas” text.

Despite all these factors, the time of year is not an excuse for drivers to put others at risk. If you are the victim of a car accident during the holiday season, the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC can handle your claim. Our 25 years of experience in the DMV have prepared us to handle any type of car accident case. If your holiday was ruined because of the negligence of another driver, contact our office today for a free consultation.

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