Holiday Driving May Cost 860 Americans their Lives

NSC urges extra caution and sober driving because the goal is zero deaths.

December 18, 2018

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council urges drivers to be extra vigilant as they travel to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. NSC estimates 422 people may be killed and 48,100 may be seriously injured in car crashes during the upcoming Christmas holiday period. As many as 438 fatalities and 49,900 injuries may occur during the New Year’s holiday weekend. The Christmas holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25. The New Year’s holiday period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.

“Celebrations are a huge focal point for family and friends this time of year, but making sure all holiday travelers arrive at their destinations safely should be at the top of our to-do lists,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “For those on the road, that means buckling up, slowing down, avoiding distractions and driving sober. Prioritizing safety is the best way to welcome the new year.”

With preventable deaths at an all-time high, the Council has called for states to take actions to reduce their residents’ risks – particularly when it comes to safety on the roads. The NSC State of Safety report encourages states to implement proven countermeasures to help reduce risk, including instituting sobriety checkpoints, requiring ignition interlocks for first-time and repeat DUI offenders, banning open containers, or automatically revoking licenses for more than 90 days for drivers with blood-alcohol levels above .08 or those who refuse to test. The Council also applauded Utah’s decision to move to a .05 legal limit, which takes effect Dec. 30.

Additional tips for safe travel include:

Supplemental traffic fatality and injury information for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods can be found here.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

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