The Thanksgiving holiday often means lots of people getting into their vehicles to drive to a holiday dinner or party with friends and family.
Accident Statistics on Thanksgiving
For traffic safety purposes, the Thanksgiving holiday is defined as occurring from 6pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to 5:59 am on the Monday following Thanksgiving. In an average year, over 50 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving, with the majority traveling 50 miles or more to their holiday destination. However, almost all of these travelers will get to their destination by car. Unfortunately, traveling by personal vehicle is one of the least safe forms of travel, with the number of fatalities in bus accidents, train accidents, and commercial aviation accidents dwarfed by the number of fatalities in car crashes. On an average Thanksgiving holiday, approximately 400 fatalities will occur in motor vehicle accidents.
Drinking and Driving Increases the Risk of Getting Into an Accident
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving ranks among one of the deadliest holidays on the road in the U.S. This is in large part due to the fact that many people will consume alcohol at their Thanksgiving dinner or party, then immediately get behind the wheel while still intoxicated. Each year as many as approximately 200 of the motor vehicle accident fatalities that occur during the Thanksgiving holiday are related to alcohol and intoxicated driving.
Plan for Driving to and from Your Thanksgiving Destination
If you plan to travel by car to your Thanksgiving holiday, you should make plans to help keep yourself safe and reduce the risk of getting into an accident:
- Plan your route: It helps to learn the directions to your destination, along with potential alternate routes, so that you don’t distract yourself while behind the wheel looking at your cell phone or fiddling with your vehicle’s navigation system. Also make sure you know the likely weather and road conditions on your route, as well as the safety of your routes, so that you can be prepared for heavy traffic or potentially aggressive drivers.
- Prepare your vehicle for a road trip: Make sure your vehicle is regularly maintained; before setting off, check your fluid levels, tire pressure, and the functionality of your lights and indicators. It also helps to pack an emergency kit (in the event you suffer a breakdown) with items such as warning triangles or flares, gloves, flashlights, a tire toolkit, water, blankets, and cell phone charger banks.
- Don’t drink and drive: If alcohol will be served at your dinner or party, make a plan for sober driving. Either refrain from alcohol, have a designated driver, or arrange to stay the night and leave the following morning. If you do choose to consume alcohol, moderate your intake and make sure to cut yourself off early enough to ensure you will be sober by the time you get behind the wheel.
- Avoid fatigued or drowsy driving: If you have a long trip, it helps to take breaks along the way to stretch, get some fresh air, use the restroom, and have a snack, so that you can remain fresh and alert while driving. If you have a long day of driving and stay late at your destination, you may also want to consider making arrangements to stay at or near your destination and leave for home the following morning so that you can avoid driving while drowsy or fatigued, which can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk.
Contact a Edison Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Lakewood, Toms River, Jackson, Woodbridge, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 906-1500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as offices in Edison, Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach.
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