Is New Year’s Eve The Most Dangerous Time of the Year to Be On the Road? What About for Pedestrians?

New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the coming of 2009. Restaurants and bars in Chicago and nationwide are lively as many celebrate the holiday and the arrival of the new year with drinks and merriment. It is easy to imagine that New Year’s Eve is a risky time for drivers and pedestrians in Illinois and the rest of the states.

Holidays in general are the most hazardous times for drivers due to sharp increases in traveling and drunken driving. And when it comes to New Year’s Eve, research offers sobering statistics.

From 1986 to 2002, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has researched accident data in the United States, New Year’s Day ranks fourth in terms of most accident-related fatalities on a given day. Coming in at first and second are the 4th and 3rd of July, followed by December 23rd. Based on these statistics New Year’s Eve and Day are not the riskiest days of the year to be out celebrating.

Yet a closer examination of the statistics reveals something peculiar. While it might not be the deadliest day for those in vehicles, it is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians. According to the IIHS study, New Year’s edged out Halloween as the having the highest incidences of pedestrian deaths. On New Year’s a large majority of these deaths can be attributed to the increase in drinking and celebrating. Half of the deaths involved alcohol impairment and 58% of the pedestrians who were killed had a high blood-alcohol concentration.

So this year when you are out celebrating the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, please remember to be safe and responsible. Happy New Year from the staff at Kreisman Law Offices.

Kreisman Law Offices has been practicing Illinois personal injury law for over 30 years, serving Cook County and its surrounding areas including Evanston, Chicago, Oak Park, and Tinley Park.