By Jessica Mathews/

A very different holiday season kicks off, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is urging safe and sober driving.

SEMCOG reminds that alcohol is a significant factor in holiday deaths, alcohol-related crashes tend to be more serious, and they increase over the holidays. The agency released quick facts regarding alcohol-involved crashes during the holiday season in Southeast Michigan for the years 2015-2019. It says there were 18% more alcohol-involved crashes per day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, as compared to the rest of the year. SEMCOG additionally reported that more alcohol-involved crashes occur on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year. There was said to be 41% more alcohol-involved crashes on January 1st than the next highest day, July 4th. Data further showed the third-highest number of alcohol-involved crashes occurs on Thanksgiving Day.

SEMCOG reminds motorists to stay safe this holiday season and never drink and drive; be aware of potential drunk drivers as most fatalities occur at night, especially weekend nights; stay focused while driving, avoid distractions and always wear a seatbelt.

More crash data and analysis is available in the attached release.