Avoid Thanksgiving Weekend Car Accidents

The Safety Council reports that the most common factors in holiday accidents are the reckless actions of other drivers.

Thanksgiving Eve. Drinksgiving. Blackout Wednesday. Whatever you may refer to it as, the night before Thanksgiving is a popular time for celebration before turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. As college kids and out of town guests return to their families’ homes in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, people of all ages flock to their favorite local establishments to have a drink (or three) with friends and indulge in a drink (or three) to celebrate Thanksgiving. For bars and restaurants, Thanksgiving Eve draws in the same size crowds as Super Bowl Sunday and St. Patrick’s Day. A study from 2019 shows that there was a 270% increase in beer sales and 114% in liquor sales on Thanksgiving Eve compared to the Wednesday prior.

While ordering to-go is the primary choice for “getting out” in 2020, many bars and restaurants will still be welcoming in-house guests at lessened capacity or outdoor seating. There are quite a few breweries and bar operators reporting that they have still managed to increase their 2020 sales compared to 2019 despite this year’s restrictions. So, even with COVID-19 forcing smaller gatherings and limitations on food and drink establishments, that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of options to still enjoy the festivities.

Car Accident Statistics for Thanksgiving Weekend

An increase of people attempting to reach their destinations by the afternoon of Thanksgiving means a huge increase in the number of motor vehicles on the roads and freeways. This increase in travelers on the roadway leads to an increase in motor vehicle accidents. People are more likely to find themselves in an injury accident when driving on a holiday weekend than at other times of the year, due to the increase in the number of drivers on the road as well as the increased likelihood of distracted driving or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Studies have shown that when it comes to drinking and driving, the night before Thanksgiving has become even more deadly than New Year's Eve. Be aware that even a single alcoholic beverage can impair your driving ability, so if you plan on drinking over the extended holiday weekend, be sure to have arrangements made for getting home.

According to The National Safety Council (NSC), Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Studies have shown, each year there are more than 400 fatalities due to Thanksgiving holiday accidents, and thousands more sustain serious injury.

Reduce your risks of a car accident over Thanksgiving by driving sober, obeying speed limits, avoiding aggressive driving behaviors (ie. tailgating), and staying focused on the roads you are traveling.


Travel Safe over the Thanksgiving Holiday

With the increase in alcohol sales and usage that occur on the night before Thanksgiving, we’ve created a checklist for traveling safely during the extended holiday weekend:

  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Do not risk it.
  • Have a plan ahead of time for a designated driver; or utilize a rideshare service

  • Never allow family members and friends to drive if you know they’ve been drinking

  • If you are traveling and observe a drunk driver -- call the police

What to Do if You Find Yourself Involved in an Accident

If you find yourself involved in an accident over the holiday weekend, here are a few simple guidelines to follow:

  • Stay calm and assess the situation

  • Make sure you are in a safe location or move to one as quickly as you can. If your car is unable to move, turn on your hazard lights or set up flares to alert other vehicles

  • Check for injuries, both your own and those of your passengers, and call for an ambulance if necessary

  • No matter what, call the police. This may be required by law, and if not, it can help establish liability

  • Write down any information you can remember about the accident and take lots of pictures to document the event. If possible, ask witnesses to do the same

  • Call your insurance company and contact an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure you understand your rights

Kwartler Manus is Here for You

It’s important that you are aware of the travel dangers during the Thanksgiving holiday so that you can avoid them and spend your time with loved ones. When accidents and injuries do occur, we are always here for you and available to help!

If you’ve been injured this Thanksgiving due to another person’s carelessness or negligence, contact our experienced team of personal injury attorneys online or by phone at (267) 214-8608.

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