How serious is drunk driving over the holidays?

According to the National Safety Council, the Thanksgiving weekend is the deadliest on U.S. roads due to drunk drivers.

As people all across Texas prepare for the holiday season to get into full swing, they must sadly also face the reality that travelling on the roads at this time of year can be very dangerous. Whether making a short jaunt across town or trekking hundreds of miles to visit loved one, the risk of being hit by a reckless drunk driver is all too real.

Thanksgiving dangers abound

The National Safety Council conducted an in-depth review of vehicular fatality records over the course of 20 years. The goal was to identify the real risk associated with drunk driving on key American holidays. Data provided by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System was leveraged for this purpose.

Between 1995 and 2014, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend far and away surpassed any other holiday period for the average number of deaths in accidents in which alcohol was involved. In total, this holiday saw an average of 506 people killed nationwide.

The holiday with the closest number of average deaths was the Fourth of July with 460 fatalities. Following closely behind were Labor Day and Memorial Day with 452 and 446 deaths, respectively. New Year's Day and Christmas rounded out the top spots with 374 and 345 fatalities, respectively.

Holidays see dramatic spike in drunk driving deaths

Statistics from the United States National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show a dramatic increase in the percentage of lives lost in drunk driving wrecks over the Christmas and New Year's holidays compared to the rest of December.

During these two year-ending holidays, drunk driving fatalities rose by 12 percent versus those recorded in the first few weeks of the month of December.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is another organization which tracks fatalities on the nation's roads and highways. Its records from 2001 through the year 2005 show that on average, 36 people in the U.S. died every day at the hands of drunk drivers. As tragic as that number sounds, things unfortunately get worse during the holidays.

During the period attributed to the Christmas holidays, an average of 45 daily drunk driving deaths were recorded. Over New Year's Day, the number of people killed per day on average in crashes involving alcohol jumped to 54.

Help is needed to continue raising awareness

People who must mourn the death of a loved one due to a drunk driver's actions should talk to a lawyer in Texas. This is one more way of raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving while also seeking some compensation for one's losses.