According to the National Safety Council, Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most dangerous holidays for driving, behind only Independence Day and Memorial Day. The National Safety Council estimates 433 people may be killed and another 49,400 may be seriously injured in car accidents during the upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday period.
In a recent study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it was determined that 2-3 times more people die in alcohol-related auto crashes from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day than at other times of the year. And 40 percent of traffic fatalities during the holidays involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 31 percent for the rest of the year.
While alcohol is a major factor, it is also a time when families travel long distances to celebrate with friends and family, often under tight schedules. “A hallmark of Thanksgiving is traveling to be with family and friends, but whether it involves a short drive or a long road trip, the same risks apply,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO, in a statement. “Sensible precautions can make the difference between a safe visit home or an unwelcome trip to the emergency room.”
The National Safety Council provides the following tips for safe travel:
· Buckle up on every trip in every seating position
· Make sure children are properly restrained in the appropriate seats for their height, weight and age
· Drive attentively and disconnect – even hands-free cell phone use is risky
· Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue
· Sign a New Driver Deal with teen drivers at DriveitHOME.org
· Understand how opioid pain relievers may affect your ability to drive safely; visit StopEverydayKillers.org to learn more
· Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them at MyCarDoesWhat.org
· Check your vehicle for recalls at NHTSA.
· Advocate for safer roads by joining the Road to Zero Coalition
Whether you are traveling or staying near home, make a safe and sober ride home your priority. Call an Uber or a cab, arrange a designated driver, take public transit or stay the night.
Christopher W. Goode, is a nationally recognized trial attorney and founder of Goode Law Office PLC. While his practice is diverse, he is committed to only representing injured individuals. He is a past president of the Fayette County Bar Association and is a frequent speaker on legal topics. Chris currently serves as a District Vice President for the Kentucky Justice Association. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.goodelawyers.com.