Tips for Staying Safe Traveling Over Thanksgiving

With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, many of us will be traveling to visit family and friends. According to AAA, approximately 90% of those traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday are planning on traveling by car which is an increase from previous years. With more traffic on the roads, the probability of car accidents is on the rise. If you are one of the many people who plan on traveling by car this year, here are some statistics to keep in mind when traveling as well as tips for staying safe on the roads this holiday.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 40% of the fatal Thanksgiving crashes last year involved drunk driving. Many people have long weekends from Wednesday to Sunday and as a result many people attend several holiday-related events, many of which involve alcohol. Thanksgiving is now considered to be the most dangerous holiday in terms of alcohol-related fatalities by the NHTSA.

There were 20% more fatal crashes nationally in the 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. travel period during Thanksgiving week than other weeks in the year. It should come at no surprise that there also were more crashes in rainy conditions and on wet pavement surfaces. Many areas of the country are expecting rain this holiday weekend so make sure you check out the weather so you can better prepare for potentially hazardous road conditions.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, on average the Thanksgiving period represents 15% of all traffic deaths during the month of November. According to the National Safety Council, “During the Thanksgiving holiday period, fatalities rose 42% on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and were 19% higher than normal on Thanksgiving Day.”

The following tips will increase the chances of a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday weekend:

  • Do not drink and drive, and do not ride with anyone who has had any alcohol or drug use.
  • Avoid the late night and early morning hours to avoid becoming an innocent victim of an impaired driver.
  • Try to do most of your driving during the daylight hours. This way you can see any hazards that might not be visible at night.
  • Do not use your cell phone while driving. If you need to make a call or send a text delegate the task to another passenger in the car or pull over in a safe area.
  • Make sure you wear your seatbelt and also make sure your passengers do as well.
  • Do not speed. If you reduce your speed by 10mph, it reduces the probability of fatality in a car crash by half. Also, nobody wants a speeding ticket.

We hope that these tips help everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.