Food, family and football: Thanksgiving is by far one of the most significant
holidays of our year, marking not only the official start of the holiday
season but also one of the busiest times of year for travelers. Unfortunately,
the increased traffic and festivity also makes Thanksgiving eve
one of the most dangerous days to be on the road.
Let’s look at a few statistics:
Thanksgiving 2012 saw
764 traffic accidents involving fatalities, according to the NHTSA—the most of any day
that year. Nearly 50,000 non-fatal accidents occurred the same day.
AAA estimates nearly 49 million people travel during the Thanksgiving weekend—almost
ninety percent of them by car.
Thanksgiving Eve is consistently one of
biggest drinking nights of the year, earning it the name “Blackout Wednesday.”
Why Is Thanksgiving Eve Such a Dangerous Travel Time?
Several negative factors combine to make Thanksgiving Eve a “perfect
storm” of peril for travelers each year:
- The sheer number of cars on the road increases the risk of accidents.
- More people are drunk on Thanksgiving Eve because almost everyone has the
following day off. This adds to the number of drunk drivers on the road,
increasing the risks.
- Since many people have to work the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, many
of them are beginning road trips after a full day of work to arrive at
their destination by Thanksgiving—meaning more fatigued and distracted
drivers are on the roads, as well.
- Weather patterns are often adverse in late November, making the roads even
Ways You Can Stay Safe during Thanksgiving Travel
Remain aware. Practice defensive driving skills. If you notice a car weaving erratically,
maintain a safe distance and call 911 to report it.
Don’t get distracted. Put the cell phone away; keep both hands on the wheel.
Stay rested. If you feel fatigued or sleepy, let someone else drive for awhile. Better
yet, consider public transportation.
Don’t drink and drive. Save the drinking for your destination.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, we can help. Call our
Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys to find out more.