More than 50 million people are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year, according to a new report from the American Automobile Association (AAA). This is an increase over past years and the highest number since 2005. Most, about 45.5 million people are expected to travel by road with about 3.9 million traveling by air. The good economy and inexpensive airline tickets are likely responsible for the increase in travel.
Most people hitting the roads this Thanksgiving will travel 50 miles or more from home. Others who travel nearby were not included in the statistics. This means that the roads are going to be crowded over the long weekend. Roadways will likely be the busiest on Wednesday afternoon and evening and again on Sunday. You may want to avoid the roads during these peak hours.
Increased Traffic May Mean More Accidents
With an increase of traffic on the roadways comes the likelihood of more accidents. Thanksgiving weekend typically marks the beginning of a period of increased crashes and fatalities on America’s roads. In 2015, 301 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes during the Thanksgiving weekend period.
The National Safety Council (NSC) issued some information and tips for improving your holiday travel road safety. Many of the people killed in car accidents are not wearing their seatbelts. Simply wearing your seatbelt can greatly improve your chances of surviving an accident. Proper seat belt usage reduces the risk of fatal injury for front seat passengers by 45%. Of all fatal crashes in 2015, 80% of the deaths occurred to people who were ejected from the vehicle.
Safe Driving Tips
The law requires drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts. In addition to seatbelts, there are some other things you can do to improve road safety. Do not drive when you are drowsy or impaired. Impaired drivers are more likely to cause accidents and deaths on the roadways. Driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day, so plan your trip accordingly.
Leave for your trip early enough to account for traffic jams. Being stuck in traffic can be aggravating and may cause road rage. Allow plenty of time for your trip or plan to drive during times when traffic is less likely. Stay safe and alert while behind the wheel and leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front. Do not use electronic devices such as a cell phone or GPS unless they are hands free. If you see someone driving erratically, move away and call police.
Unfortunately, accidents can occur even if you are driving safely. If you are involved in a crash always call the police immediately. If there are any injuries seek medical attention. Take photos of the accident before you move the cars, if it is safe to do so. Obtain the name and insurance information from the other driver.
In some cases, you may need to take legal action to get the money necessary to pay medical bills, lost wages and other damages from the accident. Contact the legal team at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea to discuss your vehicle crash case today.