Thanksgiving is One of the Most Dangerous Times to Be on the Road: Stay Safe With These Tips

November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving is often the busiest driving holiday in the U.S., with the majority of those traveling for the holiday hitting the roads on Thanksgiving Day rather than the days leading up to that Thursday. Unfortunately as a result, Thanksgiving is also one of the most dangerous times to be on the road.

Thanksgiving Accident Statistics

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, an average of over 550 fatalities will occur on roads across the country; 41 percent of fatal accidents involve someone driving under the influence of alcohol. These numbers don’t even include those who travel to their Thanksgiving destination on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the holiday or who leave to go home at some other point over the Thanksgiving weekend.

How to Help Avoid Accidents When Traveling on the Road for Thanksgiving

Regardless of whether you are driving to the next town over or across several states to get to your Thanksgiving destination, there are steps you can take to help reduce your risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident while traveling for the holiday:

  • Know your route: Be sure to plan your directions to your destination (along with alternative routes in the event of construction or traffic delays). This helps you keep your concentration on the road and avoid being distracted trying to figure out where you are going. Also be sure to know the weather and road conditions along your route, and if necessary leave earlier to give yourself enough time to get to your destination after factoring in delays or having to travel at a slower speed due to weather or road conditions.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good condition: Before you leave on a long road trip, make sure your oil, brakes, and tires are in good condition, and that your coolant, antifreeze, and wiper fluid levels are good. Also check to make sure your lights and vehicle electrical systems are working. It can also help to fill up your tank before setting off, which can help you avoid the need to find a gas station to fill up while on your route. 
  • Pack an emergency road kit in your vehicle. If you break down on the road, you will want to ensure that you have a cell phone charger or battery bank to keep your phone charged, in addition to blankets and water for everyone in your vehicle. Also consider keeping warning triangles or flares (if legal), high visibility jackets, and a spare tire or tire repair kit along with necessary tools. 
  • Avoid getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Always either refrain from drinking, have a designated driver, stay over for the night or utilize the service of Uber or Lyft to get you back home. 
  • If you have a long trip, try to plan for frequent breaks so that you and your passengers can stretch, get some fresh air, and use the restroom if needed. This can help you feel alert and focused at all times behind the wheel. If you ever begin to feel tired, drowsy, or fatigued, pull off the road and take a rest.

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 564-4770 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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