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Thanksgiving Is One of the Most Dangerous Times to Travel

Published: Nov 20, 2017 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Alabama (UA), the three-day period leading up to Thanksgiving Day is the most dangerous time to travel on Alabama roadways. After a review of the 2015 study, our car accident lawyers in Alabama determined that an average of 460 vehicular crashes took place on each day of this three-day period. Comparatively, the average number of crashes occurring on a daily basis during the rest of the year was 409. These statistics attest to the fact that Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous times to travel.

Vehicle crashes can be devastating, especially if you have suffered an injury as a result. If you are dealing with an injury in the aftermath of a car accident, allow our team of experienced Alabama car accident lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. to help you obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled.

To set up a free consultation, call us today at (205) 933-1500.

Increased Traffic

The natural increase in traffic is one element that contributes to the fact that Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous times to travel. In 2016, The American Automobile Association (AAA) projected that 48.7 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more from their home for the Thanksgiving holiday. This represented a nearly two percent increase over the previous year, and the highest volume of travelers during this period within the previous nine years.

According to the UA study, a combination of additional traffic, traveling after sunset, the danger of deer on the road, and alcohol consumption all contributed to an elevated number of crashes during the Thanksgiving week.

The high amount of traffic on the road during the three days prior to Thanksgiving generally consists commuter traffic and people traveling to visit their families and loved ones. With the added number of vehicles on the road, the probability of more accidents increases.

Thanksgiving Day is actually the safest day to travel – there is much less traffic on the road and many people are at their destinations during much of the day. The two days following Thanksgiving are generally safer days to travel than the three days prior to Thanksgiving. However, traffic tends to increase on Sunday with many people returning home and filling the roads and highways with traffic.

Decreased Visibility at Night

The number of crashes that occur on the roadways during any given period of time – including during the Thanksgiving holiday week – can be affected significantly by low visibility. The travel period after 5PM during this period tends to have a higher than normal number of crashes. Part of the reason can be attributed to time change that takes place a few weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday, which adds to the amount of time drivers travel in darkness. This is another reason why Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous times to travel.

Alcohol Use

Another significant cause that contributes to the dangers of travel during Thanksgiving week is the increase in alcohol consumption during holiday celebrations. It has been reported that DUI citations had a much greater chance of occurring during the week of Thanksgiving compared to the rest of the year.

There unfortunately tends to be an increase in alcohol and drug use on the days following Thanksgiving due to the fact that many individuals are off from work during those days. This also tends to contribute to how many people are on the road driving under the influence during this period of time.

Deer Collisions

Deer tend to be more active as the sun is setting. This is also a busy time for individuals and families traveling to their Thanksgiving destinations. Therefore, collisions with deer tend to occur at around twice the level during this week than at other times. During Thanksgiving week of 2015, 84 vehicle crashes involving deer collisions occurred. However, many others, possibly several hundred, were not reported.

Lower Seat Belt Use

It is also been reported that during the Thanksgiving week, seat belt use goes down by 25 percent compared to other weeks of the year. As such, the danger increases for these individuals traveling during this week. This reduction in seat belt use may be partially due to the fact that many people traveling less than 25 miles from home don’t feel the need to buckle up for the short trip. However, it has been demonstrated that most vehicle crashes occur within 25 miles of home. So it is vital to always buckle up before heading out.

Get Help from Experienced Alabama Car Accident Lawyers

Our team of car accident attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. has more than six decades of combined trial experience. We understand the devastation that a car crash and any resulting serious injuries can cause you and your loved ones. You can count on us to help you move forward effectively with any claim of compensation to which you may be entitled.

If you need reliable representation to facilitate a claim, it is important to understand your legal rights. A car accident lawyer at Belt & Bruner, P.C. can help you to know when to make a claim and can represent you in all aspects of making your case and obtaining compensation. Our initial consultations are always free. To learn more about how we can help you, call our Montgomery car accident lawyers, Mobile car accident lawyers, Huntsville car accident lawyers, or Birmingham car accident lawyers to learn how they can help you.