Traveling to see your family over the Thanksgiving Holiday is a long-held tradition.
In fact, AAA reports that more people will be traveling this Thanksgiving than in the past. An estimated 43.6 million Americans are going to drive distances of 50 miles or more this holiday season.
Unfortunately, the increased number of people who are traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday creates an increased risk of auto accidents. Other factors during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend can also present dangers on the roads, including drivers who have celebrated with too much to drink.
Because of the increased accident risks, our Montgomery accident attorneys want to urge every driver to exercise care this holiday season and to follow good safe driving practices to minimize the dangers.
The Risks of Driving Over Thanksgiving
The National Safety Council (NSC) provides some important information to drivers on the risks of Thanksgiving travel. According to their Thanksgiving Holiday Period Traffic Fatality Estimates:
- Between 41,100 and 56,500 non-fatal injuries will be caused by auto accidents that occur during the 4.5 day Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
- The number of traffic deaths over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekends between 2005-2010 was 9.8 percent greater than the number of traffic deaths during other weekend periods.
- In November of 2010, 13.76 percent of all monthly traffic fatalities occurred during the Thanksgiving weekend holiday.
- In November 2005-2010, 15.3 percent of all November traffic deaths occurred during the Thanksgiving weekend.
For purposes of the NSC report, the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend is considered to last from 6:00 PM on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving (Nov 21 this year) until 11:59 PM on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Minimizing Your Auto Accident Risks During Thanksgiving
With so many more accidents occurring over the Thanksgiving holiday, smart drivers will take steps to minimize their risk of becoming involved in a crash. While there is never a guarantee that you’ll always be able to avoid an accident, following these safe driving tips should help you to stay safe:
- Plan for extra traffic due to the holiday and leave yourself enough time to get to your destination. You don’t want to feel forced to speed because you are running late.
- Whenever possible, avoid the areas where the traffic is likely to be the heaviest. This can include areas around shopping malls during the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping frenzy.
- Never drive after drinking.
- Refrain from distracted driving, including driving while on your cell phone.
- Never drive when you are drowsy. Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Whenever possible, avoid construction zones, which can increase the accident risk.
- If you can, try to time your journey to hours when the roads are likely to be less crowded such as early in the morning before everyone has headed out to start their celebrations.
These safety tips should hopefully help you to reduce your risk of a Thanksgiving accident. Of course, sometimes an irresponsible or negligent driver will still manage to cause a crash even if you’ve done everything right. If this occurs, the negligent driver can be held responsible for losses and damage that he causes.
Call Allred & Allred P.C. at 334.396.9200 to speak with a personal injury attorney today.
Montgomery Injury Lawyers Support Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, Allred & Allred, November 14, 2012.
Alabama Traffic Crashes: Darkness and Daylight Savings Time, Allred & Allred, Nov. 7, 2012.