New Jersey’s risk of drunk driving during the holidays

People who live in Burlington, New Jersey and surrounding areas should get the facts about the risk of drunk driving accidents, especially over the holidays.

Every year, people who live in and around Burlington, New Jersey hear much about the risk of drinking and driving especially over the holidays. Such reports should be heeded as the facts do support the reality that drunk driving fatalities are higher during such times than during non-holiday times. Car accidents caused by people who choose to drink and drive can leave many victims and family members suffering during what should be a time of joy.

Holiday tragedies are real around the nation

It is not only in New Jersey that the risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident exists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took its own data about such crashes compiled from multiple December months starting in 2001 through 2005. The NHTSA segmented out select days in the month mapped to either Christmas or New Year's from those remaining days identified as not holidays.

The results showed that for the holiday days, 40 percent of all traffic fatalities were affected by alcohol. That compares with 28 percent of all deaths during the non-holiday days showing a definite increase in the number of fatal accidents attributed to drunk driving on holiday days.

In looking at 2005 alone, more detailed segmenting was done to identify how many deaths occurred on average per day over the Christmas holiday, the New Year's holiday and the rest of the month. During the days assigned to Christmas that year, an average of 46 people per day died at the hand of drunk drivers. During the days assigned to New Year's that year, an average of 55 people per day died at the hand of drunk drivers. Those numbers compare to an average of 34 people per day over the non-holiday days that month.

Drunk driving in New Jersey

It is clear from the NHTSA data above that the holidays can result in higher than average drunk driving death rates. However, this does not mean that the risk is not always present. Mothers Against Drunk Driving notes that 28 percent of all automotive fatalities in 2012 in New Jersey were caused by drunk drivers.

Further NHTSA records from the same year include:

  • Statewide, 589 people died in automobile accidents and 164 of those deaths were from drunk driving accidents.
  • In Burlington County, 12 out of 53 automotive fatalities were attributed to drunk drivers.
  • Only three other counties in the state lost more lives to drunk drivers than Burlington County. Bergen, Ocean and Middlesex lost 13, 16 and 19 lives respectively in accidents involving alcohol.

Across Burlington County and its neighboring counties of Camden, Atlantic, Ocean, Monmouth and Mercer, a total of 52 people lost their lives in crashes affected by alcohol.

Help is critical

For any victim of a drunk driving accident, getting legal help is important. Accident victims and family members deserve compensation when these tragedies occur.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury