Be mindful of other drivers this Thanksgiving weekend!
Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and as such, many people are making plans to celebrate with their loved ones. If your plans include traveling by car, it’s important to be aware of the extra risk associated with travelling between the dates of Wednesday, November 23rd and Sunday, November 27th, 2016.
Thanksgiving weekend is the most-traveled holiday period of the year, and as such, your risk of being involved in a car accident automatically increases significantly (by about 17%) just from being on the road.
In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has been dubbed “blackout Wednesday” for this very reason. In 2014 alone, there were 764 fatal car accidents (and another 50,000 non-fatal car crashes) over the Thanksgiving break.
AAA estimates that ~42 million people will drive somewhere for Thanksgiving this year. It doesn’t matter how good of a driver you are; your chance of being in a car accident will increase regardless. You cannot predict or control the actions of other drivers, but you can decrease your chances of being seriously injured or killed by following a few basic rules.
Tips for staying safe while driving this Thanksgiving.
- Buckle up! While this may seem like common sense to most drivers, a surprising number of fatalities occur simply because the occupant was not wearing a seat belt. In fact, about 50% of all traffic fatalities involved an unsecured occupant. Buckle up every single time. It doesn’t matter if you’re just going down the street, because over half of all car accidents occur less than five miles from home.
- Do not drink and drive. While it may be common to celebrate the holiday with a glass of wine or two, understand that you have a moral and legal responsibility to avoid driving while impaired. Police will be out in force, and most areas employ a “no-refusal” policy with regard to field sobriety and/or breathalyzer tests over this period. More-importantly, driving while intoxicated increases the chances of a car accident. The NHTSA estimates that a staggering 40% of all traffic fatalities over Thanksgiving weekend are caused by drunk drivers.
- Avoid distractions. Distractions such as mobile phones, texting and driving, and even those created by others in the car can cause you to take your attention off of the road. You as a driver have a responsibility to those in your car, as well as the other drivers on the road. If you find yourself becoming distracted while driving, pull off and park somewhere in order to regain your composure.
- Time your travel. You should always expect there to be a few major traffic delays during this time, so reduce anxiety by giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Most car accidents occur early in the morning (3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) or late at night (10:00 p.m. to midnight), so it’s better to begin travel between 7:oo a.m. and 9:00 a.m. if at all possible.
- Be mindful of weather conditions. Changing weather brings unfamiliar hazards. Even if you’re comfortable driving in snow or ice, understand that many other drivers are not. Give other drivers space, and keep a steady flow of traffic. If you feel as though others are driving too fast, move to the right-hand lane and use your hazards. Before you head out on the road, also be sure to check that your tires are properly-inflated and that your windshield wipers are working flawlessly. If you expect to travel though ice and/or snow, be sure to carry an ice scraper, road flares, and an emergency flashlight.
- Stay alert of other drivers. As we mentioned above, you simply cannot predict what other drivers will do. It only takes one driver to cause a multi-vehicle accident, and your best defense is to put as much space between you and other drivers as possible. Make yourself as-visible-as-possible to other vehicles by turning on your headlights and cleaning any snow/ice from your vehicle. Stay out of the left lane if possible, and always let faster traffic pass you to the left.
- Avoid driving while drowsy. As we can all attest to, eating a lot during Thanksgiving—especially turkey—can lead to drowsiness in many people. Studies have shown that drowsy driving can be just as deadly as drunk driving. If you feel tired, stick around and wait a couple of hours before heading back on the road. You might just enjoy the extra time with family!
If you are hurt in an accident over Thanksgiving.
First thing’s first. If you’ve been injured in a Dallas-area car accident over Thanksgiving weekend, your number one priority should be to seek medical care. We understand you want to enjoy the holiday with family, but it is also your legal duty to mitigate damages following an accident, even if it wasn’t your fault. Failing to seek medical attention in a timely matter could result in you losing the ability to seek compensation from the other driver.
If you’ve been unable to see a doctor due to circumstances, your attorney may be able to have you seen and treated by a doctor for no cost to you. If you have not spoken to an attorney about your case yet, please call the Dallas car accident lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm for a free consultation at 1-877-405-4313. We’ll explain the options available to you for no charge. If you choose to pursue a claim, we’ll begin working on your case today and will never charge you a cent unless we actually win you money!
Speak With a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.