Thanksgiving is just days away and many Virginians are finalizing their plans to travel near and far to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. Although airport travel typically sees a spike in passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, most of those traveling for the holiday will do so by vehicle. Sadly, this increase in commuters also increases the risk of more car crashes. In fact, Thanksgiving may be the deadliest holiday to drive on.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that there are almost 50,000 auto accidents every Thanksgiving weekend. In approximately 800 of those crashes, people are killed.
The NHTSA numbers also show that 40 percent of people killed in Thanksgiving weekend car accidents were killed by a drunk driver.
Another sixty percent of dead victims were found not wearing seat belts when the crash happened. It’s important to remember that no matter how safe and careful a driver you are, there are many drivers on the road who engage in risky driving behaviors – such as drunk driving – and if they hit your vehicle, that seat belt could make all the difference in whether you survive that crash or not.
In addition to drunk driving, other causes of the vehicle crashes include distracted driving, fatigued driving, and weather conditions. There is also an increase in aggressive and impatient drivers on the road, as well, as heavy traffic conditions build up with so many people converging on the roads to get to their destinations.
If you’re traveling for the holiday, it’s important to follow these car safety tips to ensure your family’s safe arrival:
- Allow plenty of travel time to get to where you are going;
- Keep track of weather conditions and make sure your vehicle is “winter” ready;
- Make sure you are well-rested before you begin your travel;
- Wear your seat belt;
- Follow the posted speed limit;
- Keep your cell phone put away and avoid other forms of distracted driving; and
- Never drink and drive.
If – despite all safety precautions taken – you are injured in a vehicle crash caused by a negligent or careless driver, contact a skilled Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you have against that driver for your injuries. Our VA personal injury firm has successfully represented many clients who were injured in car wrecks and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our Virginia and Carolinas personal injury law firm would also like to wish all our readers a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!