Thanksgiving is an excellent time of year to catch up with friends and family, kick back and relax over the extended weekend, overindulging in food and football. However, it is important to remember that Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily traveled times of the year. There are more cars on the road than usual, combined with the stress of the holiday season, which leads to more dangerous situations.
The National Safety Council yearly data shows that car crashes increase from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving thru Sunday. Car fatalities related to alcohol also increased significantly during that time. During the Thanksgiving season, being on the road has an increased risk of being involved in a crash than most other times of the year.
As traffic accidents and alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities increase during the Thanksgiving period, there are a few things you can do to stay safe if you are planning to hit the road this Thanksgiving season:
Do not rush. Have a game plan for your Thanksgiving travels. There will be more traffic than usual, so give yourself plenty of time to travel to your destination and do not stress out if you are running late. A significant factor in traffic accidents is stress due to feeling the pressure of a self-imposed schedule. Being late to an event is always better than being involved in a car accident because of road rage.
Plan to travel during the day. Alcohol-related crashes typically occur after a day of drinking and over-celebrating. There are more likely to be drunk drivers on the road in the evening hours than daytime. So, if possible, avoid the drunks and travel during daytime hours.
Plan an extended trip. The Thanksgiving timeframe for increased car accidents starts Wednesday afternoon and extends through Sunday. Wednesday night is typically a big party night for college kids returning home. You can reduce the risk of being involved in a car crash if you leave before Wednesday afternoon and head back home Monday or later.
Travel less distance. If you can choose between two sides of the family or multiple friends’ houses to celebrate Thanksgiving, the closest location will likely be the safer option. Less time on the road creates fewer opportunities for someone to cause an accident with your vehicle… plus you will have more time to spend with your loved ones.
Explore alternatives. Automobile-related accidents are the number one cause of death and injuries from transportation than any other way of travel in the United States. If the option is available to you, traveling by train, plane, or Metro is worth considering. All are safer modes of transportation, especially during this time of year.
Thanksgiving is the time of year to be grateful and appreciate what you have. Enjoy this time and unwind with your loved ones. If you need to travel, travel safely, and give yourself plenty of time.
Have a Great Thanksgiving from All of Us at Curcio Law!!
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