As Thanksgiving approaches, millions of Americans are getting ready to reunite with their families and will be traveling across the country to do so. With all the extra traffic on the roads, there is an increase in car accidents as well.
Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest travel time of the year and this year is no exception. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that nearly 47 million people will be traveling more than 50 miles from their homes this week. With low gas prices, more families are expected to drive than fly compared to last year.
This is also the most dangerous time to be on the road. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2012, 764 people died in car crashes on Thanksgiving Day, more than any other holiday that year.
The worst period for fatal motor vehicle accidents starts Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and continues until 3 a.m. This is mostly due to the large number of binge drinkers on the road.
One way to keep your family safe is to try to avoid the biggest travel rush times. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest individual travel day. If you can, schedule your trip on Tuesday or Thursday. For the return trip, you can avoid long traffic jams by waiting until Sunday instead of Saturday.
Regardless of the day or time, you can reduce the chances of an auto accident by practicing defensive driving and avoiding risky behavior.
Safe Driving Habits to Remember
- Minimize Distractions – Distracted driving is the leading cause of auto accidents in the U.S. today. Put your phone away, keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and your attention on your surroundings.
- Slow Down – Speeding is a leading cause of accidents. The faster you drive, the harder it will be to stop for an object that moves in your path. Add snow or rain into the mix, and your braking distance will increase considerably. Keep it at or below the speed limit.
- Don’t Drink and Drive – This should go without saying, but there are still millions of people who get drunk and get behind the wheel of a car. Alcohol is involved in 40 percent of fatal accidents on Thanksgiving Eve. If you choose to drink this holiday, reserve a cab, designate a non-drinking driver or find a place to sleep overnight.
- Get Some Rest – Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous and puts everyone on the road at risk. People traveling long distances tend to be more likely to drive drowsy. If you’re going on a long road trip, make sure you get a good night’s rest before you depart. If you feel yourself nodding off, pull over and find a place to nap. It’s a good idea to have a passenger who can take over driving responsibilities on long trips.
The Indiana car accident lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Remember to buckle up, drive slowly and don’t drink and drive.
Even the safest drivers can’t control the behavior of others on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash due to another driver’s negligence, contact us today for a free consultation. Our licensed personal injury lawyers will work to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Call (844) 678-1800 and speak to a lawyer about your potential claim.