Study Blames Christmas Shopping Traffic for Worse Week of Wrecks

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Dec 23, 2013  |  Updated 6:44 PM CDT
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Watch out if you're doing some last-minute shopping, this is the busiest week of the year for motor vehicle accidents.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

Watch out if you're doing some last-minute shopping, this is the busiest week of the year for motor vehicle accidents.

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New research shows Christmas week is the worst week of the year for motor vehicle wrecks nationwide.

Dr. Allen Parrish with the Center for Advanced Public Safety blames the spike in minor accidents on heavy traffic around shopping areas.

"The more you can avoid that the more likely you are to avoid being in a crash. It's really that simple," Parrish said.

His research found the hours between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. are the riskiest part of the riskiest week for accidents.

Traffic around Arlington's Parks Mall and Highlands shopping areas Monday was a good example of the Christmas week crowd.

Access roads to the shopping centers were jammed and parking lots were very crowded all day but especially between 4 and 7 p.m.

"It's hard living in the area, but as much as I can I try and avoid it," said driver Asma Bakr.

Cece Crosby visited the Grand Prairie Outlet Mall.

"Some people are a little impatient, you know, but it was crowded. We were all trying to find that parking space. You have to park out a little further out," Crosby said.

Police are also concerned about drunk drivers adding to the holiday traffic danger.

Most North Texas cities are enforcing "No Refusal" holidays this week and next.

Blood will be drawn pursuant to a search warrant from drunk driving suspects who refuse a breath test.

Arlington Police Sergeant Jeff Houston urged drivers to celebrate responsibly.

"Always have a designated driver, plan ahead, know what your activities are going to be and if you do drink please don't drive. Have someone drive for you," he said.

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