Univ. of Alabama study shows traffic accidents increase near Chr - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Univ. of Alabama study shows traffic accidents increase near Christmas

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Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

Traffic around the holidays can be a little hairy at times.

"Traffic was backed up all the way from Midtown to Skyland Blvd. It was bumper to bumper," Benjamin Mallisham said.

Friday afternoon on McFarland Blvd near 15th Street, a handful of cars were involved in a chain of accidents.

A new study finds scenes like these are happening more often on the days leading up to Christmas. Researchers at the University of Alabama's Center for Advanced Public Safety or CAPS compiled 10 years worth of traffic data during the six day periods surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

In 2012, the days before Christmas had 18 percent more auto accidents than those other holidays.

"We think there's more with all the holiday shopping and of course the holiday traveling," Rhonda Stricklin with CAPS said.

CAPS has software analysis technology that can automatically get information on accidents from exciting databases from around Alabama. In 2012, CAPS reports there were nearly 2,000 more crashes than 2011. Ten of those crashes were fatal.

"People get stresses around the holidays. They are in a hurry to get somewhere," Stricklin added. " and they are trying to do too much at once. Driving takes your concentration. It's serious business."

CAPS and all law enforcement can't stress enough the importance of keeping your eyes focused on the roadways instead of distracting yourself with cell phones.

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