A 17-day traffic safety program was launched by Alabama law enforcement to promote safe driving during the holidays. This did not prevent all motor vehicle accidents, however. In fact, there were 31 accident-related deaths in the state between Dec. 16 and New Year’s Day at midnight. These statistics only cover accidents handled by state troopers and do not include those investigated by other agencies.
Officials say there was a substantial increase in car accident fatalities throughout the state in 2016. One police officer noted that it is always distressing to respond to deadly crashes during the holidays and have to inform family members of a loved one’s death. Twenty-nine of the fatalities involved victims in vehicles equipped with seat belts, though only seven of those individuals were actually wearing one.
Many accidents during the holidays occur because people who have had too much drink try to drive themselves home instead of asking for rides from others who have not consumed alcohol. Other collisions take place when people are in a hurry and make unsafe lane changes or exceed the speed limit. Sadly, negligent drivers place themselves and all other motorists at risk.
For many in Alabama, the holiday season is already a financial challenge. The last thing needed is to be faced with unexpected medical bills or lost wages when a car accident injury prevents a recovering victim from returning to work. The law allows those injured in motor vehicle accidents to seek monetary judgments against drivers and/or other parties deemed at fault by filing personal injury claims in civil court. The surviving families of deceased accident victims have a similar right to pursue wrongful death claims. Successful litigation can lead to compensation that can offset any expenses associated with a particular incident.
Source: al.com, “31 killed in Alabama holiday crashes; traffic fatalities jump 27 percent in 2016“, Carol Robinson, Jan. 4, 2017