It’s Thanksgiving week. You are probably thinking about turkey, seeing your family, and maybe spending some time with some old friends. However, with Thanksgiving week being the most traveled holiday of the year, our lawyers want you to have one more thing on your mind. Safety.
Approximately 90% of those who travel during the days before and after Thanksgiving will do so by car. If statistics reign true, as they have in past years, the week surrounding Thanksgiving will be the deadliest of any holiday this year. (USA Today)
Many different factors contribute to the increase of car accidents around Thanksgiving. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind in order to have as safe a holiday as possible:
• Traffic-Generally, when traffic increases, so do accidents. A 2011 study by The Center for Advanced Public Safety found that interstate traffic accidents soared 25% during Thanksgiving week. Increased traffic on virtually all roads this week means more potential hazards, and less room for error for drivers not paying full attention. Make sure to keep a safe following distance, and stay aware at all times behind the wheel.
• Weather-The seasonal weather could mean icy roads for many people in the Midwest, especially those living in the northern Illinois and the Chicago area. It is important to watch your speed, and drive responsibly, especially in weather such as this.
• Unfamiliar Roads-For many who only travel to visit family and friends during holidays, the roads they will be navigating will be foreign, and this makes people more likely to be distracted looking at their Map quest directions, their smart phone navigation, or looking for street signs, which all break the drivers focus on the road.
• Alcohol-According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 40% of all fatal car accidents around Thanksgiving week were caused by alcohol-impaired driving. Alcohol, mixed with the rest of the hazards about is incredibly dangerous. Practice defensive driving, and if you have had anything to drink, call a cab or have a friend or family member drive you home.
In 2010, 431 died on Thanksgiving Day alone. More than any other holiday that year. This week more than ever it is important to be as careful as possible, and be on the look out for reckless and negligent drivers.
Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. No one wants to think about injuries and traffic accidents, but they are an unfortunate reality of the season. If you or a family member experiences an injury this week because of the reckless actions of another driver, know that our lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you when you need it most.
On behalf of all of us at Levin & Perconti, have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving week!