Edmunds lists Thanksgiving as the third most high-risk time on the roads, with an increase in fatal auto accidents happening between the Wednesday prior to the holiday and the Sunday after. There are ample reasons for an increased risk of car accidents during Thanksgiving weekend. Motorists need to know the top reasons these crashes happen and make a commitment to doing their part to stay safe.
Five Reasons for Rising Car Accident Risks During Thanksgiving Weekend
Five key reasons for rising car accident risks over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend include:
- A rise in road travel: Last year, The Hartford Courant reported gas prices were way down in Connecticut. This trend is expected to continue. Falling gas prices means more motorists willing to take road trips to travel to see friends and family. Over 46 million people nationwide will travel 50 or more miles via car over Thanksgiving weekend. With more drivers on the road and people going for longer car trips, the overall increase in traffic can cause a rise in the total number of accidents occurring.
- Weather conditions and visibility issues: Weather is unpredictable in Connecticut over Thanksgiving. While you could have clear roads, there is also a chance of snow on the ground or a chance of a blizzard. Bad weather can impact visibility for drivers. Daylight savings, which occurs earlier in November, also means it gets darker earlier. People may travel both to and from their Thanksgiving activities in the dark, which makes it harder to see on Connecticut roads and results in an increased crash risk.
- Drivers who are rushed on the roadways: Many people rush around to different family and friends' homes and to Black Friday shopping events. If drivers are in a hurry to get somewhere, they may drive faster and increase crash risks.
- An increase in alcohol consumption: Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls the Wednesday before Thanksgiving "Blackout Wednesday." It gets its name due to the fact there is so much consumption of alcohol during the Thanksgiving period.
- A lengthy holiday weekend: Since Thanksgiving goes from Wednesday to Sunday, people have four full days to spend time with friends and loved ones. More time off means more time to go out, drink, and get too drunk to drive safely. The long weekend also provides opportunities for people to travel back to their home town, which provides the chance to drink with old friends while catching up.
While motorists cannot stop the rise in traffic or control weather conditions, they can obey the rules of the road, avoid getting drunk, and drive assertively in an effort to reduce crashes from happening. Keeping Thanksgiving car accident risks down will require a commitment from every driver during the holiday weekend.