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Last year, we at Kaplan Lawyers PC offered up some safety tips, which we thought would be helpful for everyone driving on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is, historically, the third most dangerous holiday for motorists. Only Memorial Day and New Year’s Eve outpace Thanksgiving in terms of driving fatalities. Every year, America witnesses a surge in accidents around the last Thursday of November. In an attempt to combat this deadly trend, we’d like to revisit the all-important issue of driving safety, and provide a more complex glimpse into the statistics behind this annual problem. As always, we believe firmly that a more well-informed populace is a safer populace.

Breaking It Down

They National Safety Council (NSC) has conclusively stated that impaired driving jumps an alarming 33% during the holidays.

There is an explanation behind these figures. The cause of the uptick in driving accidents is twofold. First, whenever there is a drastic increase in the amount of motorists occupying the road there is a correlated rise in accidents. Drivers unaccustomed to navigating through dense traffic experience more hectic roadways, and even seasoned drivers suffer from the more clustered conditions. The second, and more upsetting, reason that the holidays seasons are more dangerous for those on the road is due to alcohol indulgence. During times of festivities, people tend to partake in celebratory spirits. Oftentimes, they drink more than they usually would. Dangerously, because of the amount of food that is also consumed during the holidays, it’s sometimes hard for people to gauge precisely how drunk they are. Studies show that approximately a third of all Thanksgiving vehicular accidents involve alcohol, or inebriated drivers.

Because Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, many professionals treat it as a lead-in to a weekend of merrymaking. This only amplifies the urge to overindulge.

These two factors combined, congested roads and potentially intoxicated drivers, makes for a hazardous situation. Next, we’ll take a look at just how dangerous Thanksgiving can be, and what you can do to help protect yourself and your family.

Holiday Driving Fatality Statistics

The National Safety Council takes detailed accounts of driving accidents, and has compiled specific evidence illuminating the dangers of each season.

In 2014 the NSC estimated that during their pre-determined Thanksgiving time period, which they classified as between Wednesday, November 26th and Sunday, November 30th, there would be 418 highway deaths and 44,700 additional non-fatal injuries, nationwide.

More and more people are traveling longer distances each year, so these problems are only getting worse.

What Can You Do?

Most safe driving tips are universal, but it’s significantly more important to heed the following advice during the holidays. Bring yourself up to date on the following information, and keep it in mind while making your holiday sojourns!

  • If we’ve learned anything from this article, it’s that drinking and driving is the main culprit, when considering accidents during this time of year. It’s important that you designate a sober driver. If no one in your party is fit to drive, it’s wiser to ask your family to sleep over. This means more time with your loved ones and less time endangering yourself and others on the road.
  • It’s not only alcohol that can cause drowsiness. Overeating can have similarly debilitating effects on your awareness. If you’re feeling lethargic, post-meal, don’t attempt to get behind the wheel.
  • When you do drive, buckle up! Using a seat belt cuts your risk of dying in a car crash in half. Police crack down especially hard on seatbelt usage around the holidays. More important than the fear of getting a ticket, however, is the fact that you are markedly safer when your seatbelt is engaged.
  • You’ll probably want to call your loved ones to let them know you’ve made it home safe and sound. It’s important that you wait until you get there! Texting or making phone calls while driving is tremendously dangerous.
  • As we mentioned recently here, icy road conditions make driving more difficult for everyone. Respect the space of others, never follow too closely, and reduce your speed. Snow can have a negative effect on traction; it’s important you drive more carefully in the snow.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

There’s no time like the holidays. The comfort of family and friends. The joy of a home-cooked meal. When accidents happen during these times, they seem to resonate in an even deeper way. If you or your loved ones have gone through a painful accident, it’s important that you focus on healing. While you do, Kaplan Lawyers PC will work hard to win you the compensation deserve. Medical bills are costly, and missing time from work will only worsen your financial burden. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’ll work determinedly on your behalf, and we never charge you unless we earn you money. Our experienced and compassionate team of attorneys will guide you through every step of the legal process. If you don’t know where to turn, you can count on Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.