Over the Thanksgiving season, many people travel home to see their families.
In fact, according to a November report by AAA, holiday travel will be increasing this year for the third consecutive year. AAA indicates that an estimated 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this year to go home for Thanksgiving.
People tend to drive more during the Thanksgiving holiday not only to go home and see their families, but also because they have a four-day weekend for shopping and celebrating. Unfortunately, the increased number of drivers on the road can lead to more accidents and more injuries.
To help you stay safe this holiday season, our Modesto car accident attorneys urge you to consider these safe driving tips.
The Risks of Thanksgiving Holiday Travel
This November, the National Safety Counsel (NSC) took an in depth look at accident statistics in order to get a better understanding of the increased risk of auto accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday season. While there was no reliable data measure available to indicate exactly how many more people drive over the holidays than at other times of the year, the NSC reviewed the available accident rates with the assumption that driving does increase over the holidays.
According to the NSC report:
- There are likely to be between 41,100 and 56,500 non-fatal disabling injuries caused by auto accidents during the 4.5 day Thanksgiving weekend. This year, this time period stretches from 6:00 PM on Wednesday November 21 through 11:59 PM on Sunday November 25.
- Based on crash data from 2005-2010, the number of traffic fatalities over Thanksgiving is 9.8 percent higher than the average number of fatalities during comparable non-Holiday weekends.
- 13.76 percent of traffic deaths during November of 2010 occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday.
- 15.3 percent of November traffic deaths from 2005 to 2010 took place during the Thanksgiving weekend.
This data underscores that driving over the holiday weekend can be dangerous. The increased risk may be caused not only by more drivers on the road, but also by aggressive drivers trying to get to their shopping destinations or by people driving home from dinners and parties after having a little too much to drink.
Staying Safe During the Holiday Weekend
While some accidents cannot be prevented, you can minimize the risk of becoming involved in a holiday crash by following some basic safety procedures:
- Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so there is no need to speed. Remember, you may encounter more traffic so account for this in your planning.
- Stay away from areas that are likely to be congested, such as shopping mall parking lots over the holiday season.
- Don't drive after you've had too much to drink or if you are feeling drowsy.
- Don't talk on your cell phone or engage in distracted driving.
- Consider timing your travel, especially long journeys, to off-peak hours when there isn't likely to be as much traffic.
Following these tips should hopefully help you to stay safe and avoid car accidents this holiday season.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Robert J. Anaya for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-209-522-7500.
Modesto Injury Attorneys Note Autumn Road Risks, Modesto Injury Lawyer Blog, October 30, 2012
Thanksgiving Holiday Period Traffic Fatality Estimate, National Safety Council, November 6, 2012