Thanksgiving is almost here and if you’re planning on driving to your holiday gathering, you should be aware that this is by far the most dangerous holiday to be on the road. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Thanksgiving has experienced more car wreck fatalities than any other holiday every year over the past five years.
While the Thanksgiving holiday is a great opportunity to celebrate with family and friends, it’s important to stay safe when you are on the road. This is particularly true in Connecticut, where adverse weather conditions often exacerbate the other factors which make driving so dangerous during this week.
Why Are Car Wrecks So Common during Thanksgiving?
There are several factors which contribute to the dangerous driving conditions that exist during Thanksgiving:
- Increased traffic – According to AAA, nearly 50 million people will be driving during the Thanksgiving weekend, and many of these people will be driving long distances to get to their destination. Any time there is such a high volume of vehicles on the road, the risk of a car wreck is exponentially greater.
- Drunk driving – Drinking is a common part of holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, far too many people get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol for several hours on Thanksgiving. In addition, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving has become a big party night in recent years, as many young adults who are home for the weekend take advantage of this opportunity to catch up with old friends at a bar. It should come as no surprise that roughly one third of motor vehicle fatalities over the Thanksgiving weekend each year involve drunk drivers.
- Drowsy driving – In an effort to avoid the heavy Thanksgiving traffic, many people choose to drive early in the morning or late at night. Unfortunately, most drivers are more tired and less alert at these times of the day, creating a greater risk of a collision. If you’re driving home from holiday dinner on Thursday night, you will also be sharing the road with many drivers fighting food coma and struggling to stay awake.
- Bad road conditions – Rain and snow occur quite often in Connecticut during this time of year, and it’s common for drivers to battle wet or icy roads during their holiday drive. These road conditions always increase the risk of a car crash.
Tips for Avoiding a Car Wreck Over Thanksgiving
By taking a few precautionary measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of being seriously injured in a car crash over Thanksgiving:
- Maintain a safe driving speed – Speeding is one of the most common causes or car wrecks. Driving the speed limit will give you more time to react to the reckless behavior of other drivers. In the event of stormy weather, a safe driving speed becomes even more crucial. When roads are wet and icy, driving the speed limit may be too fast to safely maneuver your vehicle.
- Avoid driver distractions – The increase in drunk and drowsy drivers, along with a larger than usual number of vehicles on the road, makes it more crucial to keep your eyes focused on the road. Using your cell phone while driving diverts your attention and can increase your risk of a collision as much as driving while intoxicated. Responding to a text can wait until you reach your destination.
- Wear your seatbelt – According to the NHTSA, approximately 15,000 lives were saved by wearing a seatbelt in 2017, and another 2,500 lives could’ve been saved if all drivers and passengers wore their seatbelts. While this tip may not help prevent a crash, it can help reduce the severity of your injuries or even save your life in the event of a collision.
- Don’t drive when you’re tired – If you’re taking a road trip to visit family for Thanksgiving, resist the urge to avoid traffic by driving early in the morning or late at night. Instead, drive at a time of day when you’ll be rested and alert. If you’re driving home after a big turkey dinner on Thanksgiving night, don’t wait until food coma sets in before leaving. Instead, drive before you become sleepy.
- Don’t drink and drive – Make sure you have a designated sober driver at all times during Thanksgiving weekend. If your driver has a few drinks, play it safe and take an Uber or Lyft home.
Jim Miron Can Help after a Car Wreck
If you’re injured in a car crash over Thanksgiving, Jim Miron can help. He has over 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims in Connecticut, and he’ll help you recover the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver.
Please contact Jim Miron, Attorney at Law using the form on this page or call 203-339-5991 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford and the surrounding areas of Connecticut.