AAA has projected that Thanksgiving travel would increase this holiday weekend for the fourth year in a row.
An estimated 43.3 million people throughout the U.S. will be traveling for at least 50 miles over the weekend in order to see friends and relatives. This reflects a .7 percent increase from the number of travelers in 2011. Many of the 2012 Thanksgiving travelers will be driving to their destinations and, in fact, AAA indicates that fewer people are flying home this year as a result of ongoing economic challenges.
With so many people driving over the Thanksgiving holiday, our Queens personal injury attorneys are concerned about traffic safety risks. Statistics have shown that the accident risk is greater over Thanksgiving and we urge all drivers to focus on safe driving through Thanksgiving and the rest of the festive season.
The Dangers of Holiday Travel Over Thanksgiving
Over the years, it has become clear that the risk of an auto accident increases during the Thanksgiving holiday. To assess the impact of the holiday on auto accident dangers, the National Safety Council (NSC) released a report called Thanksgiving Holiday period Traffic Fatality Estimates.
According to their report:
- 48,300 disabling, non-fatal injuries are expected to occur during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This is only an estimate, however, and NSC indicates that there may be anywhere between 41,100 and 56,500 injuries.
- Between 2005 and 2010, there were 9.8 percent more traffic deaths over the Thanksgiving weekend than there were during other comparable time periods on non-holiday weekends.
- In November of 2010, 13.76 percent of all traffic fatalities that occurred during the month happened over the Thanksgiving holiday.
- From 2005 to 2010, accidents during Thanksgiving accounted for 15.3 percent of all November auto accident deaths.
For purposes of assessing the accident risk, the NSC identified the period between 6:00 PM on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and 11:59 PM on the Sunday after Thanksgiving as the holiday weekend. This makes Thanksgiving weekend a 4.5 day holiday weekend.
How to Stay Safe During Holiday Travel
Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter holidays all present driving dangers since there are more people on the road during these festive occasions and since there is a chance of drivers having a celebratory drink before getting behind the wheel.
While you may not be able to stop an accident caused by a negligent or drunk driver, you can do certain things to try to minimize the risk of becoming involved in a crash. Some of the possible ways to reduce your Thanksgiving accident risk include:
- Leaving ample time to get to your destination without needing to speed. Remember, when deciding how much time you need, take into account the holiday traffic you’re likely to encounter.
- Avoiding unnecessary trips to crowded and congested areas. Going to the mall on Black Friday, for example, is likely to put you into contact with a lot of cars and to increase your accident risk.
- Never driving while drowsy, distracted or drunk.
These are just a few of the different things you can do to try to stay safe. Unfortunately, if another driver chooses to be careless, you can still get hurt no matter how great your efforts at safety are. If this occurs, an attorney may be able to help you take action against the careless driver.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to accidents victims. Call 1-877-313-7673.
NYC Traffic Accidents in Focus as Holidays Approach, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2012
Driving Safe with the End of Daylight Savings Time, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, October 30, 2012