Officials at all levels are warning families to stay home or not congregate over the holidays. Unfortunately, not everyone will heed this advice. The reasons will vary from concerns about not missing the opportunity to celebrate the holiday with elderly family members, or they may choose not to break with family traditions. This could lead to a rise in the number of crashes on the roads even if there are curfew restrictions like staying home between 10 pm and 5 am. Of course, there will also be those who refuse to give up party nights like Drinksgiving and Blackout Friday that are traditionally popular for seeing old friends, some who are in from out of town.
Causes for concern
Despite fewer numbers traveling for the holidays, there are still areas of concern:
- People still driving: Folks are still driving and may opt to drive rather than fly to see grandparents or go to their vacation home – AAA expects to see only a 4.3% drop in holiday travel by car, but half the normal number will fly in 2020.
- Traffic will be heavy: The number of people on the roads will be 30% higher than regular pandemic congestion numbers, particularly along the I5 corridor.
- Lower gas prices: Those traveling this year will find cheaper gas prices than average, which may influence some peoples’ choice to travel.
There is still a higher risk
Old habits die hard, and the higher-than-normal percentage of those who drink and drive will likely remain consistent with years past. This can mean serious motor vehicle crashes involving severe injury or even death to victims who were perhaps running to the store for last-minute provisions or coming home from work. Families who experience this kind of trauma may wish to file a lawsuit to hold the negligent driver accountable. Damages can include lost income, related medical expenses as well as pain and suffered by victims and their families.