Did you know you’re actually more likely to get into a car accident around the holiday season? The major reason why is rather simple: more people on the roads, which means more traffic. Factor in everyone rushing to get errands done quickly, and the likelihood of a crash increases.
Here are some facts about Thanksgiving crashes and tips on how to stay safe.
Thanksgiving Car Crash Statistics
1. It’s the 5th Deadliest Holiday
Data shows that fatal car crashes can also spike around certain holidays, and Thanksgiving takes the 5th spot in the charts. By far, the deadliest holiday in this sense seems to be Memorial Day, followed by July 4th, Labor Day, and Easter.
2. Over 400 People May Die on U.S. Roads
The National Safety Council estimates that around 417 may die on U.S. roads on Thanksgiving. Holidays usually mean a lot of traveling to be close to family, and one preferred means of transportation is via car. This, unfortunately, increases the risk of an accident, as roads can get a lot more crowded.
3. 165 Lives Could Be Saved by Wearing a Seatbelt
Seatbelts can sometimes decrease the likelihood of injuries or fatalities during a car crash by as much as 45%. The NSC estimates that over 160 lives could be saved on Thanksgiving just by wearing a seatbelt.
4. A Lot of These Accidents Occur Because of Impaired Driving
The holidays are a time to unwind, which often means indulging in a few drinks with loved ones. However, it’s important never to get right behind the wheel after you drink, as around 35% of Thanksgiving fatal car crashes involve a drunk driver.
How to Stay Safe
These statistics often point to a few issues involved with Thanksgiving driving that can be almost completely avoided with the right precautions:
- If you can, opt for other means of transportation off U.S. roads like taking trains or booking a flight or plan your trip a few days in advance;
- Always wear a seatbelt while in a car, even if you’re a backseat passenger;
- Never get behind the wheel after you’ve consumed alcohol, even if it was just one drink and you feel fine. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can affect your judgment and reflexes;
- Stay alert. Many car accidents can happen because of another driver’s mistake. By always paying attention to the road, you can react properly and remove yourself from a dangerous situation.
If You Are in A Thanksgiving Car Accident
The holidays are all about family, friends, and quality time spent together. However, for many U.S. drivers, it can also mean more risk while on the road.