While more than half of car accident incidents over the New Year are alcohol-related, it still is only the third most dangerous holiday for driving in the United States.

The holiday season is known for being a time that families gather and people refocus themselves on their goals through resolutions about their health habits or other aspects of life. However, it is not just a time of celebration and hope but a time of pain and loss. We know that about the New Year holiday, that the roads get dangerous as night falls. But Christmas is dangerous too.

While these holidays are challenging, there are other holidays, days, and months that carry higher driving risk too. Before we look at those days that are problematic throughout the country, it is worth first looking at our area. Unfortunately, we assume heightened risk than others throughout the country when we hit the Houston roads.

Houston the #1 metro area for traffic deaths

First, it is important to consider the issue of driving safety locally. The specific issues with Houston roadways suggest that drivers should be more vigilant than is typical throughout the year – simply accounting for the perils that are, sadly, unique to our city.

The Houston Chronicle studied sixteen years of data on accident deaths. The newspaper found that the Houston roads were deadlier than those of any other metro area. The federal highway data studied by the Chronicle came from 2001 through 2016. The reporters found that the Houston metro logs 2850 major car crash injuries annually, along with 640 deaths. Houston is the deadliest for car drivers and passengers, as well as pedestrians, found the study.

In this environment, it is critically important to drive defensively and otherwise exercise caution.


While more car accidents occur at certain times (such as New Year’s) because of people’s intoxication, the chance of a car accident also rises when people are finishing up a typical week. Assumedly overeager for the weekend, the greatest time for aggressive driving — in which there are greater instances of rapid acceleration and hard braking — is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, per an analysis by Nationwide. 


Some holidays are particularly dangerous, but the most unsafe driving month is actually August, according to the same study. The insurer found that there were more people killed in August crashes from 2012 through 2016 than in any other month during that period. August 2016 was the worst month of all for total crashes, with 60,976 of them reported.

Memorial Day

To start looking at the holidays, the one that is associated with the  sixth-highest traffic fatalities is Memorial Day which makes sense since it is thought of by many as the end of a three-day party that kicks off the summer. Memorial Day itself is the day that involves the most drinking as well as travel home, so it is unsurprising that a study of holiday roadway deaths (Arnold and Cerrelli) found there were 32% more car accident deaths on Monday than the prior three days.

Labor Day

The fifth-highest number of roadway deaths occur on Labor Day. This holiday has much in common with Memorial Day – serving as a cap to the end of summer with three-day trips. The roads can get congested, and people can end up becoming frustrated and making bad decisions.


Many people are off work Christmas Day, and many do not work all of Christmas Eve. People rush around to make final gift purchases and head to the homes of family. In this climate, traffic accidents increase from the afternoon of December 24th to the evening of December 25th.

Plus, alcohol is often involved. According to 2001-2005 data from the NHTSA, 36% of car accidents on a typical day involved drunk driving. However, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the percentage rose to 45 percent. This alcohol use is a primary reason Christmas is the fourth-most-dangerous holiday.

Note that when Christmas falls on a weekend, it is a safer time to drive than when it falls during the week.

New Year’s

Many adults go out and celebrate on this holiday. Some drink excessively, leading to more danger from drunk driving – particularly late at night (i.e., from midnight forward). The leadup to the turn of the year on New Year’s Eve involves binge drinking for many; and that means a higher incidence of drunk driving. According to the 2001-2005 NHTSA cited above, more than half of car accidents (54%) over New Year’s Eve and Day involved alcohol impairment. Again, alcohol is a major influence in why this holiday is the third-deadliest for traffic crashes.


Thanksgiving is a holiday that many families consider important, so they head out on the road to grandparents and elsewhere. People often do not have the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving off. That lack of preparation time for the big meal results in unsafe roads. Drivers heading to and from Thanksgiving get-togethers in 2019 may be suffering from drowsiness. They may be on their phones or otherwise distracted. They may be hurrying to their destinations. There were more than 500 Thanksgiving traffic deaths from 2001 to 2006. The good news is that number has dropped, nationwide, in the past few years; nonetheless, this holiday is still ranked second among holidays for roadway fatalities.

Independence Day

Actually the deadliest holiday of 2019, based on past years, will likely be the 4th of July, aka Independence Day. Over that four-day holiday in 2012, per National Safety Council data, there were about 540 car accident deaths. Over that same span, there were 58,000 major injuries arising from these incidents.

Help when you are a victim on the road

You can get in a car crash any time, whether it is one of the peak danger periods to be on the road or not. Have you recently been involved in a car accident? At Farrah Martinez Law Firm, we proactively and effectively represent clients in their personal injury cases. Learn about founding attorney Farrah Martinez.

Know What to Do in the Event of a Motorcycle Accident

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 9,859 injuries and fatalities to motorcycle drivers and passengers in 2016. That’s a significant number and an increase over previous years. It’s also a sign that motorcycle drivers and passengers are less safe than ever before. The drivers of other automobiles typically cause motorcycle crashes.


A Lack of Awareness: Motorcycle Drivers Are at an Increased Risk


One of the most significant contributing factors in the rise of motorcycle accidents across Texas is negligence on the part of other drivers. With an estimated 500,000 registered motorcycles on Texas roadways now, it’s more important than ever for car, truck, van and 18-wheeler drivers to be observant. That’s the force behind the state’s 2017 DoT campaign – “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles.”

Drivers of other vehicles are urged to be vigilant concerning motorcycles. An accident involving a motorcycle is five times more likely to result in an injury than a car-to-car crash, and 29 times more likely to result in a fatality. Of course, motorcycle drivers and passengers also need to be vigilant. However, you need to know what to do if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident.


When You Are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident, Know What to do.

Houston Car Accident Lawyer Answers Questions

Car Accident Lawyer helps Motorcycle Victims

Assess the Damage – First of all, you need to assess the damage, and that includes physical injuries to you and a passenger on your motorcycle. What injuries have you sustained? Are you able to sit up, or stand?

Chances are good that if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident involving a car, truck, van or an 18-wheeler, you have sustained serious injuries. If possible, use your cell phone to call 911 to ensure that help is on its way immediately. If you are able, check the condition of any passengers, and the driver/passenger of the other vehicle.

Move Off the Road – If possible, move your motorcycle off the road. The other driver will also need to move their vehicle out of the flow of traffic. If necessary, move any injured individuals off the road (assuming you’re physically able to do so).   Most of all, do not cause more harm by trying to help.

Gather Evidence

Exchange Insurance Information – If you’re capable, exchange insurance information with the other driver. You should also get their name, phone number, and address. All of this information will be necessary to file a claim.

Take Pictures – If you are physically able, use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene before moving the vehicles out of the road. You’ll need proof of who hit whom, the position of the vehicles, and more. If you’re not able to take photographs, try to memorize every detail of the scene possible.

Talk to Witnesses – While not always the case, witnesses are sometimes present. Get the contact information from these individuals.

Don’t Talk about Fault – Whether the motorcycle accident was the fault of the other driver, or you think it was your own, don’t talk about it except with the police. Avoid discussing the accident with the other driver.

Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

While you may not need a car accident lawyer in all instances, it’s wise to have an experienced professional on your side if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. Why? Insurance companies are in business to make money.  Consequently, they don’t do that by paying out a lot of cash to those injured in accidents. An experienced car accident lawyer like Farrah Martinez can help ensure that you receive the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, missed time from work and your pain and suffering.

For a free consultation, contact Car Accident Lawyer Farrah Martinez at (713) 853-9296.








 I slipped and fell. Can I sue?

This is an article written by Farrah and published by The Houston Lawyer Magazine.

Ross v. St. Luke’s, is a significant case for claims by visitors, not patients, hurt while visiting hospitals or medical care facility. Personal injury lawyers, this blog is for you.

A Visitor’s Slip and Fall is not a Health Care Liability Claim
By Farrah Martinez

In Ross v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hosp., No. 13-0439, slip op. (Tex. 2015) the Supreme Court addressed whether a slip and fall premises liability claim, by a visitor, constitutes a health care liability claim (HCLC).  Lezlea Ross, a visitor at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, slipped and fell as she approached the exit doors of the hospital.  She was not a patient of the hospital and was there only to provide companionship to a friend.  As a result of the fall, Ross suffered injuries and filed suit against the hospital under a premises liability theory.  The hospital moved for summary judgment, alleging that Ross’s claim was a HCLC under the Texas Medical Liability Act and her failure to file an expert report under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code required dismissal by the law.  The trial court granted the motion and Ross appealed.

The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision, citing Texas West Oaks Hospital, L.P. v. Williams 312 S.W.3d 171 (Tex. 2012).  Previously, the Court decided in Williams that when a safety standards-based claim is made against a health care provider, the Texas Medical Liability Act does not require the safety standards to be directly related to the provision of health care in order for the claim to be a health care liability claim.  Ross appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

Before the Court, the hospital advanced two primary arguments to support the lower court’s ruling that Ross’s claim is a HCLC.   First, the hospital argued that any slip and fall incident at its facility is directly related to health care because it encompasses the safety of its patients.  Secondly, the hospital asserted that Ross’s claim falls within the health care purview since she specifically alleged that the hospital breached standards applicable to maintain a safe environment for its patients. 

Ultimately, the Court rejected both arguments and concluded that there must be a substantive nexus between the safety standards allegedly violated and the provision of health care.  That nexus requires more than a “but for” relationship.  Ross was a visitor; she was not a patient and received no medical services while on the premise.  She was injured only as a result of physically being present on hospital grounds.

As noted by the Court, the lines between a safety standards-based claim that is not a HCLC and one that is a HCLC are often blurred; the Court provided a lengthy list of nonexclusive factors to consider when evaluating whether a plaintiff’s claim is related to a defendant’s provision of medical or health care and is therefore an HCLC.   

In Ross’s case, the Court held that there was “no substantive relationship to the hospital’s providing of health care,” so Ross’s claim was not a HCLC.   In light of the Court’s finding, Ross was not required to file an expert report and her case was improperly dismissed.  The Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals and remanded the case to the trial court.   
Farrah Martinez is the owner of Farrah Martinez, PLLC, where she focuses her practice on personal injury and insurance law.  She is an associate editor for the Houston Lawyer.