LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says crashes tend to increase around the holidays. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) says crashes related to impaired driving are 100 percent preventable. The AAA and Richmond Police have some top tips for drivers to stay safe and vigilant on the roads this holiday season.
“You’re going to see more traffic,” said Major Josh Hale of the Richmond Police Department. “We’re seeing a lot of accidents as a result.”
Over the past five years, there have been more than 500 drink-driving crashes between Christmas and New Years, resulting in 244 injuries and 13 fatalities, KYTC said. However, AAA said total crash deaths in Kentucky were down from last year.
“We’re at 696 in Kentucky, compared to 776 at this time last year,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public affairs manager for AAA BlueGrass. Traveling to these destinations by road to party.”
There are many reasons for the increase in accidents. From “buzzing” or drunk driving to being distracted by factors other than the phone.
“Obviously, drinking and driving is a risk at all times,” Hale said. “Before you have a drink, make sure you plan ahead for a sober ride, whether it’s a taxi, family member, carpool, or anything else, but if you wait until you start drinking to make an informed decision, you won’t do it .”
“If you want to enjoy some of the neighborhood decorations, please be safe. Wear a jumper on the side of the road so you can see better and move on safely instead of, you know, getting distracted and not staring at the road, ’ said Weaver Hawkins.
Above all else, AAA and law enforcement recommend driving slowly this holiday season and keeping an extra distance from other people on the road to avoid accidents.