For many people, Thanksgiving is more than just a one-day holiday; it’s a great time to use vacation days and take a four- or five-day break from the stress of work. Often, people use the time to visit local bars and reconnect with friends and family who are back in town. This might be why Thanksgiving Day itself is sometimes called “Drinksgiving,” the biggest drinking day of the year.
Given the increased alcohol consumption, it may come as no surprise that the percentage of traffic fatalities related to alcohol is higher on Thanksgiving than on most other days. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, Thanksgiving has seen higher-than-normal traffic deaths every year from 1982 to 2017, the most recent year analyzed.
In the three years from 2015-2017, an average of 35 percent of traffic fatalities during Thanksgiving have been alcohol-related. Alcohol was involved in an average of 29 percent of traffic fatalities for all other days during the period, showing that there is indeed an uptick in motor vehicle deaths over the long holiday.
Last year, an estimated 49.3 million travelers hit the roads over the Thanksgiving period. Over 400 of them died and more than 47,000 of them were seriously hurt in accidents, according to AAA.
In 2020, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is hard to estimate how many people will be traveling. Perhaps fewer people will be in the mood to visit, and fewer bars may be open in certain states, which could cut down on accidents. Of course, like most things in 2020, it’s hard to predict how this Thanksgiving will play out.
Thanksgiving Travel Tips
We can all do our part to make the roads safer this Thanksgiving:
- If you’re tired after a big Thanksgiving meal, don’t get behind the wheel until you’ve had time to get some rest.
- It’s easy to get distracted when trying to organize get-togethers, so remember not to talk or text while you’re driving. Pull over if you need to call or text someone.
- Drive at the right time. The most dangerous time to drive is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so if you’re on the road during that time be especially careful.
If You’re Injured Over Thanksgiving, Our Dallas Lawyers Will Be Here to Help.
Here at Ted B. Lyon & Associates, we hope you and yours have a safe and joyful Thanksgiving. But if something happens and you are hurt in any kind of motor vehicle accident, you can call our Dallas injury attorneys for help. Initial consultations are completely free. Call 866-503-4864 or contact us online anytime.