In Oklahoma, more car accidents occur over Thanksgiving than during any other holiday. Last year, there were 555 car accidents over the Thanksgiving week, which exceeded the totals during Christmas, New Years, St. Patrick’s Day and July 4th. For this reason, it’s important to be careful when driving during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The attorneys at Johnson & Biscone want you to enjoy a festive holiday season with your family and friends. In the event that you’re injured in a car accident over Thanksgiving, we’re here to help. That being said, we hope the tips below will help you avoid a collision entirely.
Why Are Car Accidents So Common on Thanksgiving?
There are several reasons why car accidents increase over the Thanksgiving weekend:
- Increase in vehicle traffic – AAA estimates that nearly 50 million people will drive to their Thanksgiving holiday gathering this year. Some of the longer road trips to visit out-of-town family will occur on Wednesday (with the return trips over the weekend), while shorter day travel will spike during Thursday afternoon and evening as people visit friends and family for holiday dinner. Anytime there is such a high volume of vehicles on the road, there is an increased risk of car accidents.
- Drunk driving – Alcohol consumption tends to increase at holiday gatherings. Drinking several glasses of wine, even if they are spaced out over the course of the evening, can result in levels of intoxication that make driving unsafe. Unfortunately, many drivers still choose to get behind the wheel after drinking during their Thanksgiving celebration.
- Drowsy driving – Many families will drive long distances (50 miles or more) to spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones. In order to avoid the heaviest traffic periods, people will often drive early in the morning or late at night. While this strategy may reduce travel time, it isn’t necessarily ideal for safe driving, as many people are more tired (and therefore less alert) when driving early in the morning or late at night. In addition, big Thanksgiving meals can make people tired, increasing the number of drowsy drivers on the road at the end of the night.
- Adverse weather conditions – Late November in Oklahoma can bring harsh weather conditions which make driving more dangerous. This, combined with an increase in the number of drowsy and drunk drivers, significantly increases the risk of a car accident.
Safe Driving Tips Over Thanksgiving
The following tips will help you stay safe when driving over the Thanksgiving weekend:
- Drive at a safe speed – Make sure you don’t exceed the speed limit. When you speed, you have less time to react to other drivers who may be acting erratically or dangerously. In addition, if you face rainy, snowy or icy road conditions, make sure you drive at a safe speed for the weather. Often, this may be slower than the speed limit.
- Wear your seatbelt – Last year, 50% of the individuals killed in car accidents over Thanksgiving weren’t wearing a seatbelt. The NHTSA estimates that 14,955 lives were saved by wearing a seatbelt in 2017, and an additional 2,549 lives could’ve been saved if everyone wore their seatbelts. Simply put, seatbelts save lives.
- Avoid driver distractions – When you send or read a text, it takes your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds, which equates to traveling the length of a football field when driving at 55 mph. Due to the increased number of cars on the road and the prevalence of drunk and drowsy driving over Thanksgiving, it’s crucial that you put away your phone and focus your full attention on the road.
- Have a sober driver – It’s ok to enjoy a few drinks during Thanksgiving dinner as long as you’re not planning on driving home afterwards. Always make sure you have a sober driver for holiday dinner. If no one is completely sober, order a Lyft or Uber to get home.
- Don’t drive when you’re tired – If you’re taking a road trip to visit family over Thanksgiving, make sure you travel at a time of day when you’re fresh and alert. If you’re planning on driving home Thursday night after Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you get on the road before the heavy meal you just ate makes you sleepy.
Contact our Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers
The attorneys at Johnson & Biscone have been fighting for the rights of injured victims in the Oklahoma City area for over 40 years. If you’re injured in a car accident this Thanksgiving, we’re here to help. We’ll discuss your case free of charge and explain your legal options in detail.
Please contact Johnson & Biscone using the form on this page or call 405-232-6490 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman and the surrounding areas of Oklahoma.