Thanksgiving Day is the most dangerous holiday for car accidents. Using traffic fatality data from NHTSA tracked since 1982, averages of 550 people are killed each year on Thanksgiving Day compared to 100 people on a typical day. In 2008, Thanksgiving Day deaths were down from their 26-year average; experts believe it was because unusually high gas prices prevented/detoured families from traveling. Whether it’s a holiday or not, car accidents cost taxpayers more than $100 billion each year and an estimated $36 billion is paid out annually by insurance companies.
Contributing factures to a high rate of car accidents are in increase in alcohol consumption during the holidays, a lot more drivers on the road, and longer road trips. About 91 percent of Americans travel by car to reach their Thanksgiving gathering. The Department of Transportation reports that the number of people on a road trip longer than 50 miles increases by 54 percent on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The number of road trips over 50 miles between Christmas and New Year’s only increases by 23 percent. Part of the reason for the disparity in road trips is that Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday with many having a four-day weekend, compared to the way that Christmas and New Year’s jump around.
Thanksgiving Day Driving Safety
If you are planning to take a road trip for Thanksgiving this year, here are some safety tips that could save your life:
1. Make sure that your car is tuned up and your tires have adequate tread.
2. Carry tire chains in your trunk in case the roads are snowy.
3. Drive at, or slightly below the speed limit. Follow the flow of traffic but allow extra space during wet, snowy, or icy conditions.
4. Ensure that everyone in the car is restrained properly. Children under two years should be in rear facing car seats and those under four years should be in forward facing car seats. Booster seats should be used until the child is 4’9″ tall.
5. Get a good night’s rest before starting out on the road. Take regular breaks and pull over if you are feeling fatigued.
6. Never consume alcohol or drugs before setting out on a road trip.
7. Be careful when passing other cars; be sure you can see oncoming traffic clearly.
8. Do not text and drive and if you need to make a call; use the speaker phone.
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving from Tario & Associates, P.S.!
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!