Plan Ahead, Stay Alert, Be Safe And Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Holiday November 16, 2012
Thanksgiving is a wonderful and joyous holiday. Families and friends typically gather together to enjoy a big traditional feast, to count their blessings and give thanks for all they have in their lives. Unfortunately, statistics show that the number of car accidents during this time spikes, making Thanksgiving one of the most dangerous and deadliest times for auto accidents in the United States. There are several factors that contribute to this increase in accidents: more drivers being present on the roads; inclement weather conditions; large meals that can make a driver feel tired or drowsy; and the number one reason, drunk driving.
Predicted Increase in Thanksgiving Car Travel
In their annual Thanksgiving travel forecast, the American Auto Association (AAA) predicts that 43.6 million Americans will take to the highways traveling 50 miles or more from their homes during the upcoming holiday. This prediction shows a projected increase of 0.7 percent from last year. Because gas prices are expected to continue to trend downwards as the holiday approaches, ninety percent of travelers will reach their Thanksgiving destinations this year by auto, while only seven percent will fly. In addition, travelers are estimated to journey an average of 588 miles as compared to last year’s average of 706 miles; therefore, more people will choose to drive. This 16.7 percent decline is reflective of a shift toward shorter-distance holiday trips, and is expected to affect Christmas auto travel also.
Thanksgiving Holiday Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 337 motor vehicle accident deaths throughout the nation during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday, which includes Wednesday evening through early Monday morning. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that in 2010 there were 4,352 auto accidents and 55 accident-related deaths in the state during a slightly longer time period – the weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend after the holiday. Alcohol use was linked to 535 of the Pennsylvania car accidents and 30 of the automobile accident fatalities. The eve before Thanksgiving is known as “Blackout Wednesday”: one of the biggest drinking nights of the year for college-aged students who return home for the holiday and celebrate with excessive amounts of alcohol.
Safety Tips for your Thanksgiving Holiday Travels
The Philadelphia motor vehicle accident attorneys at Galfand Berger encourage drivers to stay alert and be smart when driving this holiday season. In addition to following the basic rules of the roadways, take extra precautions to ensure you reach your destination safely. First and foremost, wear your seat belt. Before heading out, be sure you are well rested. Check the weather forecast and make sure your car is in good working condition. Check the tires and the battery on your vehicle and fill your gas tank.
Since you will encounter increased traffic volumes and congestion on the roadways, avoid speeding and careless driving by allowing ample time to get to your destination. You will most likely be driving longer distances than usual; therefore, plan breaks and switch drivers if possible. Finally, avoid alcohol during your celebrations unless you have designated a sober driver or you have reached your final destination. Be aware of other drivers sharing the road who may have indulged in alcoholic beverages. Remember, no matter how careful you may be, other drivers may not have safety as a priority.
Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger Are Here to Help
Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents will occur this Thanksgiving holiday season. Even the most alert and careful driver cannot always avoid falling victim to another’s negligence. The car accident attorneys at Galfand Berger are here to assist you if you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident. Our experienced, knowledgeable motor vehicle accident lawyers have handled all types of transportation accident lawsuits and have a proven track record of successful results for our clients. With offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, we are easily accessible from all areas of Southeast Pennsylvania, including Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware Counties, and all of Southern New Jersey. Contact our auto accident attorneys today at 1-800-222-USWA to schedule a free and confidential consultation or submit a free online inquiry.
From all of us at Galfand Berger, we hope you and your family have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!