According to Edmunds, Thanksgiving is the third most dangerous holiday in the United States when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. Only Independence Day and Memorial Day are more dangerous days on the roads. ABC 7 reported on the death of a six-year-old Southern California boy in a violent auto accident over Thanksgiving, one of many tragic accidents that occurred during this time period. LA Times also reported on a total of 30 fatalities statewide over one Thanksgiving weekend, which is a significant increase in auto accident deaths as compared with fatalities occurring during non-holiday weekends.
Motorists need to be aware of substantial dangers of auto accidents and must take steps to try to ensure they don't contribute to the risk. Drivers also need to take steps to try to protect themselves and their families while traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Tips to Minimize Car Accident Risks During Thanksgiving
For purposes of calculating increased auto accident risk, the Thanksgiving holiday period is considered to run from the Wednesday night before the holiday through Sunday night of the weekend after. This period is a very dangerous time on the roads for two primary reasons: an increase in impaired drivers and an overall increase in motorists on the road. To try to avoid being involved in a collision during Thanksgiving, you should:
- Avoid impaired driving. If you plan to consume alcohol at any Thanksgiving events, you should have a designated driver or arrange to use a ride-sharing service, a taxi, or public transportation. You should make your plans to have a ride home prior to the time you start drinking.
- Leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Whether you are taking a long road trip or travelling locally, make sure to leave ample time to get to your destination. You do not want to be rushed and speeding as this can significantly increase the risk that an auto accident will occur.
- Plan out your travel route in advance. Millions of Californians travel more than 50 miles to their Thanksgiving destination. If you are going to be driving long distances in unfamiliar areas, plan your route in advance. Load the route into your GPS or phone before you begin driving and do not manipulate these electronics while behind the wheel. Avoiding distracted driving is even more important when you are traveling in an area you're not familiar with.
- Avoid dangerous driving behaviors. Don't speed, don't drive while distracted or drowsy, and obey the rules of the road at all times.
By following these tips, hopefully you can avoid a collision and the possibility of serious injury or death during what should be a festive season.