Traffic-related accidents often increase during the holiday season, especially on Thanksgiving. Roadways are more dangerous because the number of vehicles skyrockets. More cars mean more traffic.
Alcohol is another major factor contributing to more traffic-related crashes around Thanksgiving. Some people drive home after a night of drinking, endangering the lives of everyone around them.
While planning your holiday getaway this year, take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe.
Common Causes of Accidents on Thanksgiving
The most common reasons car accidents occur on Thanksgiving are:
- Weather conditions – You might think snow and ice are the only problems. However, strong winds and heavy rain can create hazards for drivers. Downpours lead to reduced visibility and slippery roads. Strong winds can blow a person’s car into another lane if they don’t have both hands on the wheel.
- Increased traffic – With the holiday season comes an influx of drivers. Many people travel from other parts of the country to spend Thanksgiving with their family and friends. That means you’re going to see more vehicles on the road. A car crash is more likely when the roads are filled with motorists.
- Drunk driving – Thanksgiving celebrations often involve alcohol. Drunk driving impairs a person’s driving abilities. It can cause a slower reaction time, poor decision-making skills, and an inability to understand traffic signs.
- Driver distractions – Distracted driving is more dangerous than most people think. Eating, texting, and other forms of distraction prevent drivers from focusing on the road ahead.
- Out-of-town visitors – Traveling to another state to see friends and family is common during the holidays. Out-of-town visitors might need to follow a GPS to reach their destination or find certain roads or signs confusing. Being unfamiliar with the area can increase the likelihood of an accident.
- Fatigued driving – A lack of sleep and busy schedules put tired drivers on the road. The effects of fatigue are similar to those of being drunk. Making good decisions and reacting to dangerous conditions is challenging when drivers are fatigued.
- Speeding – Thanksgiving is a day to spend time with family and eat a delicious meal. However, planning for the holiday can be stressful. Everyone’s trying to check things off the to-do list. That might lead to speeding because people feel in a rush to get things done before celebrations begin.
How to Avoid a Car Accident on Thanksgiving
Although you can’t control how others behave, you can take safety precautions that might prevent a car crash. If you’re planning on driving anywhere for the Thanksgiving holiday, you should follow these safety tips:
- Don’t drink and drive – If you know you’re going to indulge in some holiday cocktails, ask someone to be your designated driver. You can also plan on sleeping over at your family member’s or friend’s house at the end of the night. If no other options are available, ridesharing can get you home safely.
- Take breaks during long trips – Driving long distances can cause fatigue. You should plan to take frequent breaks so you can stretch your legs and get a cup of coffee. If the drive will take multiple days, book a hotel or motel so you can get some sleep.
- Leave early –You should give yourself enough time to get to your destination, so you don’t feel rushed. Whether you’re driving to another state or the next town, leave early.
- Pull over for bad weather – Driving in inclement weather increases the risk of an accident. Wait for the rain or storm to pass before leaving, if possible. If you hit poor weather on a long trip, pull over at a restaurant or rest area until driving conditions are better.
- Pay attention – You should always pay attention to your surroundings, even driving down the street. Don’t allow distractions to pull your focus from the road ahead.
Contact The Johnson Injury Firm Today
The Johnson Injury Firm is ready to represent you in your personal injury case. Our personal injury lawyers in Richmond, VA, have decades of experience handling car accident cases. You can count on us to fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.
Call us today at (804) 262-9000 for your confidential consultation if you sustained injuries in a car crash due to someone else’s negligence.