The Biggest Bar Night of the Year Contributes to Fatal Thanksgiving Auto Accidents
Thanksgiving Eve is one of the busiest travel days of the year. And the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is also the biggest party night of the year. Friends and family are home for the holiday – there are people to see, lives to catch up on, reunions to be celebrated. Alcohol plays a major role in these get-togethers, but it’s not the only cause of fatal car accidents.
The window for the Thanksgiving holiday is identified as Wednesday at 6 p.m. until the following Monday at 6 a.m. During this time period in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 301 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle accidents across the nation. And nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
More vehicles on the road means more chances for auto accidents. But add alcohol, revelry, exhaustion, and holiday stress to the mix and far too many poor choices can occur leading to deadly consequences.
Here are some travel statistics to keep in mind as you prepare to ring in the Thanksgiving holiday:
• Impaired driving, not using seat belts, and distracted driving are the most common reasons for auto accidents.
• More fatal crashes happen at night and, in 2013, 64 percent of those killed in night crashes were not wearing their seatbelt.
• Peak travel days are Thanksgiving Eve and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. On Wednesday last year, there was an increase of 62.9 percent in accident alerts.
• Parking-related accidents increase on Black Friday.
• Traveling earlier in the day on the busiest Thanksgiving-related travel days means you’ll be on the roads when they’re less crowded.
As you go about your holiday celebrations, take a moment to select a designated driver for your group. Remember that the designated driver isn’t the person who drinks the least – it’s the person who doesn’t drink at all. When traffic is heavier, and the number of intoxicated and distracted drivers on the road is increased, it’s all the more important for you to make smart decisions about where you’re going and who’s taking you there.
And don’t get caught up in social media temptations. Sure, you want to see the photos of your friends getting together, and you want to share the pics you’ve taken. But this exchange of information should only happen when you’re not behind the wheel. Risk it, and you may never see any photos ever again.
If you don’t have a designated driver, or you planned to be responsible and ended up getting caught up in the revelry, be smart. Don’t drive drunk. Don’t drive tipsy. Don’t drive if you’ve had even one drop to drink. Wherever you choose to celebrate or meet your friends, take a safe ride home.
About: Christensen Law is a personal injury law firm located in Southfield, MI. David Christensen specializes in helping victims of motor vehicle accidents and truck accidents. He has more than 25 years of experience helping those injured obtain medical benefits and secure treatment options that allow them to focus on their healing and recovery.