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Holidays are a time in which families, friends and colleagues get together with one another for special dinners and parties. That festive mood quickly dissipates when a drunk driver hurts or kills someone traveling to or back from one of these celebrations, though.

How common is drunk driving?

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that more than 37,000 fatalities resulting from crashes occurred in the U.S. in 2017. That same data captured how someone died in an alcohol-involved accident every 48 minutes that same year.

On which holidays do fatal accidents happen the most?

NHTSA data also shows how some holidays appear to be more deadly than others. It shows how the highest number of crash fatalities occur on Independence Day, followed closely by New Year’s Day. Fatality rates are also significantly higher on certain holidays than your average day, including on Labor Day, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Columbus Day.

Potential reasons for higher traffic fatality rates on holidays

NHTSA data shows that an average of 130 traffic fatalities occur on holidays compared to 25 on non-holidays.

Some transportation analysts attribute the uptick in fatal traffic accidents in the summer to more teens and motorists in general being on the road. Those same analysts partially blame the uptick in motorist fatalities during the winter on diminished road conditions and limited driver visibility.

There’s no doubting that drunk driving is a factor that gives way to many of the traffic fatalities that happen around the holidays, though. NHTSA data shows that it’s a more significant issue in some states more than in others. Washington, fortunately, doesn’t make it on the top 10 safest or the most dangerous states. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem, though.

What to do if a drunk driving accident altered your life forever

Speeding and drunk or drugged, distracted and drowsy driving are just some of the many reckless driver behaviors that can have dire consequences for oneself and others. It’s unlikely that anything will help you return to the life you had before your Seattle accident. An attorney can advise you of how Washington law allows you to hold a negligent party financially liable for their actions, though.