Car crashes on New Year's Day in SoCal are nearly twice as likely to be fatal, CHP data shows

Drivers on the road in Southern California during the early morning hours of New Year's Day are being urged to remain vigilant as the night of partying can create dangerous conditions.

Car crashes during the holiday are nearly twice as likely to be fatal, according to an Eyewitness News analysis of the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System data between 2017 and 2018.

An average day in Southern California has about four deadly traffic collisions, but during New Year's, that number rises to about seven.

"A lot of those crashes are preventable," said CHP Officer Vince Ramirez. "A lot of those crashes have to do with a distracted driver, driving under the influence or people simply not paying attention to the people out there celebrating."

Interactive graphic: Click the arrows to learn more about car crashes on New Year's.

Source: CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Data covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties 2017 to 2018.

CHP data also showed that on New Year's, 16% of the crashes occur between midnight and 4 a.m., versus an average day where it's only about 6%. Authorities are advising people to avoid being on the roads during those hours.

"That's when you have a lot of people who have finished their celebrations. They're on their way home and your likelihood of encountering somebody who's under the influence increases," said Officer Ramirez.

Pedestrians are also urged to be on the lookout for distracted drivers. But according to the CHP data, pedestrian violations are the most common violation for fatal crashes around the holiday.

Ramirez adds that if you plan to drink alcohol, have a designated driver or use a ride-share service.

In Pasadena, thousands of visitors flocked to town Tuesday for the Rose Bowl game and the parade.
Visitor Steve Michels said he would not be drinking and driving.

"It's important not to do that," he said.
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