Snow is only a possibility, but do expect Black Ice on Christmas

tells KXRO that cold weather will hit Grays Harbor over the holiday, and it will bring with it some dangerous driving conditions.

Temperatures in most areas of the county are expected to fall to below freezing each night of this holiday weekend. All areas of the county including , , Elma, , Montesano, and could see night time temperatures drop to 26-29 degrees Friday and Saturday night with areas in East County feeling freezing temperatures Sunday night. Daytime highs will reach the mid 40’s.

Along with the low temperatures, many areas may seeevening and early morning fog increasing the possibility of black forming on area roads. Use extreme caution while driving, especially during the evening and early morning hours.

Besides an assortment of weather conditions this weekend, all drivers will face an assortment of hazardous drivers on the roadways

 1)                          Some drivers will be in a hurry to arrive at their destination and then return to their homes while driving at substantially higher speeds than posted.

2)                          In an effort to visit as long as possible with family and friends, many drivers will be driving while very drowsy.Drowsy driving can cause the same impacts as driving while under the influence of alcohol.

3)                          Many drivers will take to the roadways while under the influence of adult beverages. You DO NOT have to be legally intoxicated to be considered a drunk driver.

4)                          Drivers who text – Drivers spend an average five seconds with their eyes off the roadway when texting. A highly publicized study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute recently concluded that drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in car crashes or “near-accidents” than are undistracted drivers. The same report concluded that driving while texting is more dangerous than talking while driving or even reaching for a device.

HOLIDAY SEASON IMPAIRED DRIVING STATISTICS

Despite efforts for several decades to reduce the incidence of drunk drivers, it is estimated there are nearly 11,000 deaths related to drunk driving each year in the United States. This total is approximately 31% of all deaths caused by traffic-related accidents in the United States. This means that every day almost 30 drivers die in a motor vehicle accident involving an alcohol or drug impaired driver. Stricter laws and catchy slogans have reduced but not eliminated the estimated 50 million instances of driving under the influence each year.

The New Years Holiday ranks # 1 when the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration estimate that violations will jump 62%. They also estimate that two to three times more people will die during the holidays from drunk driving when compared to other times of the year and up to 54% of car accidents will be alcohol related.

Drinking and Driving during Christmas increase even more, when the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that 38% of all car accident deaths will be alcohol related.

Grays Harbor County Emergency Management wishes all a happy and safe holiday. Slow down, remain alert and DO NOT drink and drive. Please designate a driver for all of your holiday activities. Remain safe for the benefit of your family friends and community.

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