FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- With New Year's celebrations just days away, authorities are urging people to take more precautions on the roads. Experts say the holiday season is one of the riskiest times to be on the road, as this is when traffic accidents tend to be on the rise.
Authorities said there are several reasons why we tend to see more traffic accidents this time of year. Fayetteville Traffic Sergeant Larry Donegain points out more people are off from work or on leave from the military. Plus, more people are out shopping and meeting up with friends and family.
"They'll do a little bit more social drinking. So you'll get individuals that may have a drink or two at a brother's house or a sister's. And then go to an uncle's house or a friend's house, have a drink or two there," Donegain said.
He also said people can get caught up in the holiday rush and become aggressive when they're frustrated by traffic.
Fayetteville police said data shows how crashes on major roads are a serious problem. The department says the city tends to see 800 to 1,000 car crashes a month. While the number fluctuates throughout the year, police said there tends to be a spike around Thanksgiving and right before the new year.
On Christmas Day, Fayetteville couple Jada and Patricia Fields were killed after being hit by another driver who ran a red light.
Authorities say people can and should do more to make the roads safer.
"Safe driving is following the rules of the road. Defensive driving is assuming that nobody else is. So while you're driving, have your eyes open as if other people aren't driving safely," Donegain said.
He also suggests budgeting more for travel time and knowing different routes.
"If you have aggressive drivers around you who are doing things that are making you uncomfortable, instead of speeding up trying to get away from them, sometimes it's best just to slow down, pull over into a parking lot, let them go and then pull back out in traffic," Donegain said.