Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating the holidays with friends and family. Because around 43.4 million people traveled at least 50 miles from home over 2013 and AAA reports around 44 million traveled this distance over the holiday in 2012, it is also a time when there are many more people on the roads than normal.

Unfortunately, some choose to drink alcoholic beverages at celebrations and then get behind the wheel.

The combination of more traffic, more intoxicated people and potential bad weather can be a deadly mix. In fact, according to USA Today, Thanksgiving is the third-deadliest holiday for traffic accident deaths over the course of the year. Only Memorial Day and Independence Day result in more fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes.

A personal injury lawyer knows anyone in the car over Thanksgiving is at risk because of the road conditions, so drivers need to make sure they follow some best practices for safety and do everything they can to reduce the chances of serious injury or death for themselves, their passengers and fellow motorists.

Avoiding Motor Vehicle Collisions Over Thanksgiving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 416 motorists lost their lives in traffic accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2012.

This is a significant decrease in the number of traffic deaths since the record of 623 fatalities reported in 2006. However, one death is far too many.

From 2001 and 2008, more than 400 deaths occurred annually from the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving through to the following Sunday night. Around 46,000 people were also injured during this window. There are so many fatalities around Thanksgiving that a total of 15 percent of all the traffic deaths occurring in the month of November happen during the holiday weekend.

Drivers should be aware of the added dangers and should follow the safety recommends from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA advises motorists to:

  • Always buckle up when they are driving over Thanksgiving.
  • Make sure kids are in properly installed safety seats appropriate for their weight and age.
  • Avoid driving while impaired and avoid getting into the car with those who are drunk. Around 42 percent of Thanksgiving weekend accidents involve drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Many of these accidents occur on the Wednesday night before the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Leave plenty of time to get to your destination so you don’t have to speed, especially if the weather is going to be bad.
  • Pay attention behind the wheel and avoid using devices in your vehicle that create a distraction.
  • Stay out of “no zones” which are blind spots around buses and trucks.

If every motorist made the commitment to stay sober and drive safely over Thanksgiving, there would be fewer traffic fatalities over this period and everyone could have a happier holiday. Be sure to do your part and drive smart over Thanksgiving.

Contact a Phoenix accident attorney at Israel & Gerity after your accident. Call 888-900-3667 or visit to schedule your free consultation. Serving Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Litchfield Park, Goodyear, Sun City and surrounding areas.