The National Safety Council estimates that 340 people may be killed on the roadways during the Christmas holiday driving period, and an additional 384 may be fatally injured in a crash during the New Year’s holiday driving period, according to a release from the council.
Sober driving will be critical in the coming weeks, as alcohol typically is involved in 37% of fatalities during the Christmas Day holiday period and 39% of fatalities during the New Year’s Day holiday period, NSC said.
Meanwhile, the AAA expects at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season,though as many as 84.5 million Americans may still travel from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, a decline in travel of at least 29%.
“A safe travel season could help instill much-needed hope as we start a new year and close an unrelenting one,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO. “We can all do our part by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down, avoiding distractions and looking out for one another.”
There is uncertainty with all estimates, and this year’s are subject to enhanced volatility due to the pandemic-related factors of 2020, the council said.
NSC monthly analysis has shown that the roads have become deadlier despite fewer miles driven in 2020. In the first six months of 2020, the death rate was 20% higher than during the same period in 2019, despite a 17% drop in miles driven between January and June.