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Surprisingly, the most dangerous holiday for drivers in the United States is not the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve; occasions often associated with alcohol-filled celebrations. According to the National Safety Council, Thanksgiving weekend is associated with more fatal car accidents than any other holiday. On average, there have been 506 traffic fatalities every Thanksgiving weekend over the past 20 years. These accidents happen for many of the same reasons they do throughout the year; but the overall increase in cars on the road in the days surrounding Thanksgiving is the most significant factor. With more Americans visiting family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday, the risk of car accidents increases. The good news is that with preparation and responsible driving, nearly all accidents can be avoided.
To ensure you and your passengers arrive to your destination safely, keep your car well-maintained. Check your fluids, windshield wipers, and tires before hitting the road. It is always smart to keep an emergency kit filled with blankets, flashlights, non-perishable food, and water in your vehicle.
Plan your itinerary ahead of time. Familiarize yourself with the highways, exits, and landmarks along your route so you do not have to make dangerous last-second turns. Check for any detours, road repairs, or weather conditions that may affect your trip and notify friends and family of your travel plans. There are several cell phone apps that allow loved ones to track your location in case of an emergency.
Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, and is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. Before you head out on a long road trip, include time in your schedule to rest and recharge. Designate shifts and share the driving with someone else when possible. Pull over to a safe location at the first sign of fatigue, whether it be yawning, daydreaming, slow reaction time, or heavy eyes. Driving while intoxicated is never acceptable. If you plan to enjoy cocktails during your Thanksgiving holiday, call a taxi, a friend, or spend the night where you are.
In 2015, distracted driving took almost 3,500 lives. Distracted driving does not always mean texting or talking on the phone. Eating, drinking, smoking, and adjusting the radio can take a driver’s eyes off the road long enough to cause an accident. Any non-driving activity is a distraction and a danger to you, your passengers, and other drivers. Stay focused on the road to get where you are going safely. More than 40 million people are expected on American highways this Thanksgiving weekend. For the holiday to be a happy one, every driver needs to be alert, awake, and sober.
Even though most fatal car accidents are preventable, careless drivers continue to pose a risk to others. The Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are the voice of those affected by reckless drivers and their survivors. We fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. To discuss your car accident, contact us online or call 302-427-9500 today. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford to serve the residents throughout the state of Delaware.