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Single-car accidents increase on New Year's Day

What would Flo say about new research findings from Progressive Insurance? Would the Geico gecko be speechless from surprise?

Auto insurance companies may vie for the cleverest ad campaigns, but Progressive's data shows that drivers may not be too clever on New Year's Day. According to the insurer's analysis, car accident claims increased nationally by 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2012. An even bigger jump of 30 percent was seen in single-vehicle crash claims.

Unfortunately, the data is not broken down by state, so there is no way to know if Florida fares better or worse. But by looking at the numbers for two Sundays -- one two weeks before New Year's and the other two weeks after -- the nationwide trend is clear: Drivers run off the road more frequently on the first day of the year.

That 30 percent included a 76 percent increase in single-car rollover crashes and a 59 percent increase in accidents involving a vehicle leaving the road and striking an object. Those are the kinds of single-vehicle accidents that result in injuries or fatalities for people in the car.

The data does not say how many of those accidents were alcohol-related, either. But of all the holidays during the year, New Year's Eve is most associated with drinking. In Miami, the celebration can last well into the next day as football fans gather to watch the Orange Bowl.

Safety advocates -- and insurance companies -- suggest that drivers take precautions when welcoming 2013, including traveling by cab or public transit. Revelers or others on the road who do find themselves in an accident should try to remain calm, make sure everyone in the car is safe and try to stay with the vehicle while waiting for police to arrive. If anyone is injured, the next call should be to legal counsel.

Source: Progressive Insurance, "Progressive data shows 30 percent increase in single-vehicle claims on New Year's Day," Dec. 20, 2012

Our Miami-based firm helps people who have been involved in accidents like the ones discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Florida motor vehicle accident page.

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