Thanksgiving is a happy holiday, a time to connect with friends and family. It’s also possibly the most dangerous time of year to be on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2012, the Thanksgiving holiday saw more fatal car crashes than any other holiday – and this statistic is a trend that’s repeated in subsequent years. So if you plan to drive to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, it’s important to be safe on the roads.
Part of the reason Thanksgiving is such a dangerous time for driving is the huge increase in traffic volume. In recent years, driving has overtaken flying as the most popular way to travel for Thanksgiving; in 2014, the CDC estimates that 41.3 million drivers – 90% of all holiday travelers – went by car to their Thanksgiving destinations. Due to the festive celebrations, there’s also an increased risk of encountering an intoxicated driver on the road.
Fortunately, with some preparation and defensive driving tips, you can head home for the holiday and still be safe on the road. On a long road trip, take regular breaks and switch drivers if you can to avoid fatigue. Avoid allowing teens or other inexperienced drivers to take the wheel during times of high traffic volume. Never use a cell phone – even if it’s hands-free – when you’re driving. Always wear your seat belt, and never, ever get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.
For more on the dangers of driving at Thanksgiving, see our post on 5 Thanksgiving Driving Hazards.
Call our Washington D.C. car accident attorneys to discuss how to get fair and complete compensation for your damages.