About six years ago, Forbes released an article about the most dangerous holidays in the U.S. Most people automatically assume New Year’s Day is the most dangerous for drivers on the road; however, at the time the article was written, the holiday that topped the most dangerous list was Thanksgiving. AAA noted that a little over 500 people were killed on that one day the year before in 2008, citing the fact that there were over 50 percent more drivers on the roadways and higher than normal alcohol consumption that year.
Now that gas prices have dropped all across the country, it is highly likely that this year’s Thanksgiving holiday will mean hundreds more automobiles on the road than what is typically seen in a normal week. Florida roadways are usually busy with locals and visitors coming in and leaving the state on a regular basis, but more people on the road for the holiday can mean more accidents.
Fortunately, in recent years, Florida has actually seen a decline in the number of motor vehicle fatalities over the holiday. Still, that does not mean drivers are in the clear. The risk of fatal and non-fatal collisions is very real. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), billions of dollars in taxes are spent on auto crashes and approximately $36 billion is paid out in insurance claims.
So, what can be done to keep you and your family safe on the road during the week of Thanksgiving?
Unfortunately, you cannot control other driver’s habits and driving techniques; however, there are a number of things you can do to keep yourself as safe as possible this Thanksgiving. For instance, you may want to give some serious thought to traveling on a day other than the day before Thanksgiving, the day of Thanksgiving or the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Why? Because these are typically the busiest days that tend to see a high number of accidents.
Additionally, you may want to consider staying overnight at your destination, especially if you intend to drink. This is strongly encouraged since, as we just noted, driving on Thanksgiving Day can be risky. That said, you should make plans for you and your loved ones to stay in an area hotel if you are unable to stay with family or friends.
If you cannot stay overnight at your destination and you plan to drink, be sure to choose a designated driver who will commit to remaining sober and not drinking at all during the holiday festivities. This person will be responsible for ensuring you and your loved ones make it home safely.
A final tip to help keep you safe this Thanksgiving is to avoid as many distractions as possible when driving. There will undoubtedly be a great deal going on this holiday season, much of which can lead to distraction. Still, it is important for you to take your time and do not feel the need to rush to the big family gathering. Stay focused on the roadway and pay close attention to your surroundings. Accidents caused by distracted drivers have become more frequent in recent years — make sure you don’t become a statistic.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident in Boca Raton or elsewhere in Florida, call a Boca Raton car accident lawyer with the Shiner Law Group as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case. Our attorneys are local and available 24/7. Call 561-777-7700 today!