Heavy city traffic in winter

New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration and fun, but it’s also one the most dangerous night to be on the roads and sees more DUI arrests than the 4th of July. To understand why New Years’ is such a dangerous time to drive, we need to look at a few of the key factors driving these crashes.

Night Driving

New Years’ crashes are most common around 1-2 AM, just as people are leaving parties and heading home. This is a recipe for disaster.

On average, 50% of all US car crashes occur between 11 PM and 5 AM. Visibility limited by headlights, combined with active wild animals, unfamiliarity with the road, and blinding lights coming toward you dramatically increase the risk of a deadly car crash.


After a long night of drinking, playing games, and watching TV, most New Year’s drivers are exhausted and ready to fall into bed. The problem is that tiredness not only makes it more difficult to drive, but it dramatically increases the risk of a car crash.

Going 20 hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). That means slower reaction times or even falling asleep at the wheel and causing a crash at full speed.

Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving and intoxicated driving see a huge spike in the week between Christmas and New Years’. That means more arrests, more crashes, and more people seriously injured.

While you can watch out for some DUI warning signs while behind a drunk driver, it’s much more difficult to determine whether the driver coming around the corner is a little too far out of his lane until it’s too late.

Next time you’re at a friend’s house for New Years’, consider asking if you could spend the night. Waiting until morning significantly reduces the risk of being involved in a crash and will help everyone get home safely so they can do it again next year.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a New Years’ car crash, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced New Hampshire car accident attorney from Upton & Hatfield, LLP, don’t hesitate to call (603) 716-9777 or send us an email.

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