Thanksgiving is this week and people all over the country are getting ready to enjoy time with loved ones around a delicious holiday meal. The majority will travel by car because of the short to medium distance they need to go. While this is a practical choice, we should all be aware that driving has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation when we look at fatalities per passenger mile. With the increased number of cars on the road due to the holiday, combined with holiday drinking and other factors; car accidents and traffic fatalities typically increase over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
This Thanksgiving Day period*, The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 507 people may die on U.S. roads, a slight dip from motor vehicle accident fatality estimates for 2022. In addition to fatalities, the NSC estimates that 57,800 people will seek medical care for injuries they sustain in crashes over the holiday weekend.
If you or a loved one is injured in a Thanksgiving Day accident because of the reckless or negligent behavior of another driver, you are entitled to a car accident settlement that covers your medical bills, property damage, disability, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a fatality occurs, funeral expenses, loss of services and other damages may also be recovered.
*Thanksgiving Day is observed on the fourth Thursday in November, which means this holiday is always a 4.25-day weekend starting Wednesday evening and running through Sunday night. In 2023 the Thanksgiving Day weekend will extend from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 22 to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 26.
How does the NSC calculate estimated traffic fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday?
In order to get the most accurate estimate possible, NSC compares the holiday fatality data from FARS to other periods of similar length during the weeks immediately before and after the holiday period.
While an estimated number is never going to be 100 percent accurate, there is a 90 percent confidence interval for the estimate of traffic deaths this holiday period. While the estimated deaths are 507, this number falls within an estimated range of 439 to 580. The estimated injuries that will result in medical attention are 58,800, with a 90% confidence interval of 50,800 to 67,200.
Factors that Increase Car Accidents Over the Thanksgiving Holiday
Failure to wear a seat belt:
The NSC estimates that 201 lives could be saved this Thanksgiving holiday period because drivers and passengers wear their seat belts. An additional 118 lives could be saved if everyone wears their seat belts.
During the Thanksgiving Day period of 2021, 31 percent of car accident-related fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
In the Pacific Northwest, Thanksgiving often coincides with adverse weather conditions, such as snow, ice, or heavy rain. Poor weather conditions can make roads slippery and increase the chances of accidents.
Holidays often involve people traveling to visit friends and family or going on vacations. The increased number of vehicles on the road raises the likelihood of accidents.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car 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 larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers 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!