It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is rapidly approaching, and Turkey Day will soon be upon us. As you gear up for time off for work and a holiday spent with your loved ones, it’s important to keep safety a top priority, especially if you plan to travel this Thanksgiving.
As New Jersey car accident lawyers, we see numerous motor vehicle accidents every holiday season. With more cars on the roads during this busy time, accidents are an unfortunate reality. With this in mind, we have put together a list of ways to keep you and your loved ones safe as you prepare to celebrate.
Thanksgiving Is the Most Dangerous Time to Drive
Many people assume that the days leading up to Christmas are the most dangerous days for driving, but this is incorrect. Although December is a deadly month for driving, Thanksgiving actually tops the list for the most dangerous time of the year to be on the road.
Statistics show that fatal accidents increase sharply around Thanksgiving, with the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day being the most deadly driving day of the year. In 2012, there were 764 fatal and 50,000 non-fatal car accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
If you plan to travel this Thanksgiving, there are several ways you can lower your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision.
Don’t rush. When you’re in a hurry in the car, you are more likely to exceed the speed limit. You’re also more likely to take risks behind the wheel. Before you leave for your destination, take time to plan your trip. Factor in enough time for stops to refuel and stretch your legs.
Don’t drive drowsy. If you are embarking on a long road trip, it’s also a good idea to stop overnight rather than driving through the night. Not only are there more car accidents at night, but driving drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Sleep deprivation research shows that staying awake for 18 hours produces impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of .05 percent; after 24 hours with no sleep, impairment goes up to the equivalent of .10 percent — well over the legal BAC limit of .08 percent.
Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol. Many people like to celebrate the holidays with a drink. If you consume alcohol at a family dinner or work party, play it safe by using a designated driver. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 40 percent of the people killed in traffic crashes over Thanksgiving in 2012 were in accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Don’t drive distracted. When you’re stuck in the car for hours on end, it’s tempting to put on some tunes and tune out to what’s around you. However, anything that takes your full attention away from the road has the potential to lead to a crash. Keep your mind on your drive and avoid distractions like texting, checking your email, eating behind the wheel, and anything else that takes your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel.
Talk to a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer about Your Case
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, don’t wait to speak to a lawyer about your case. An experienced New Jersey car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today to receive a free case evaluation.