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Holidays not always happy due to drunk drivers

As the holidays approach, Memphis residents should prepare themselves for an increased risk of drunk driving accidents.

While most Memphis residents look forward to celebrating the upcoming holiday season, others will be left with mournful memories. Such is the case for two Memphis women. On Christmas Eve 2015, the mother and daughter will mark the first anniversary of the death of their son and brother, respectively. The man who was a college student and athlete was killed by a drunk driver on December 24, 2014.

According to, the accident occurred in Mississippi where the man was attending Belhaven University. His future was bright with a planned college graduation for the fall of this year and hopes of playing professional football. That future was taken away when a drunk driver hit the victim while riding home from a job on his bicycle.

Accidents like these can happen in Tennessee or elsewhere and still have tremendous impact on Tennessee residents. The effects of a drunk driving death last forever. Sadly, the joyous holiday season is a time when these accidents can increase.

Holidays as a time of danger

On the National Safety Council's list of the six most deadly drunk driving holidays in the United States includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Of these three, Thanksgiving is noted as the most dangerous. The reason for this could be the fact that it always spans a full weekend whereas Christmas and New Year's Day frequently fall in the middle of the week.

With Christmas and New Year's Day both landing on Fridays in 2015, the potential risks to innocent people could be even greater than in other years. In addition to fatal accidents, drunk driving arrests also increase over the holiday season notes

A look at some statistics

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2001 to 2005 show how the number of fatalities attributed to drunk driving rises over holiday dates. Specific information includes the following:

  • From January through November, an average of 36 people died in drunk driving accidents per day, amounting to 31 percent of all vehicular fatalities.
  • In December on dates not attributed to a holiday, an average of 33 people died in drunk driving accidents per day, amounting to 28 percent of all vehicular fatalities.
  • On dates attributed to Christmas, an average of 45 people died in drunk driving accidents per day, amounting to 38 percent of all vehicular fatalities.
  • On dates attributed to New Year's, an average of 54 people died in drunk driving accidents per day, amounting to 41 percent of all vehicular fatalities.

Looking at this data makes the true risk that people face undeniable. While this information is based on national accident fatality rates, the danger is just as real in Tennessee as elsewhere.

What can victims do?

Taking action is always important. This can come in many forms but should always include obtaining proper legal representation. Doing this can assist with seeking compensation.