Holiday travel weeks often results in higher rates of accidents than during non-holiday weeks. In fact, Thanksgiving weekend is the most deadly holiday travel weekend of any other, even that of News Year Day. Why is Thanksgiving so deadly? Robert Sinclair a spokesman for the AAA, states: "More vehicles create greater conflict potential," he says. "And unfortunately, during holiday times, celebratory actions, people drink and get out on the road, and that leads to a problem, too."
These accidents routinely result in more than 550 motor vehicle deaths each Thanksgiving week according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to the human loss during a season of celebration, the number of non-fatal accidents also increase substantially during holiday weeks. These accidents will always ruin the holiday celebration for families and friends of those involved in such accidents.
At the Inland Empire Law Group we want you to be safe this holiday season. How can you reduce the likelihood of a holiday accident? Consider these five suggestions:
1. Do not drink and drive. Holiday celebrations often include the consumption of alcoholic beverages. However, even though this is the case, a family member should remain a designated driver to help the family return safely from their celebrations.
2. Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. By leaving early, you avoid the need to speed and to cut corners with safety in getting to your destination.
3. Make sure the equipment on your car is in good condition. Worn tires, bad windshield wipers, poor brakes, broken seat belts and improperly maintained engines will increase the possibility of accidents. Having a disabled vehicle on the side of the road, with heavy traffic and drunk drivers, can be the mixture for disaster.
4. Avoid late night travel. By waiting until the last minute to leave or return on your trip, you do so when tired. Driving when fatigued is often as dangerous as being intoxicated while driving. Fatigued driving is one of the reasons for many holiday accidents.
5. Be prepared for unpredictable weather. Many of the major holidays are calendared during times when weather changes very quickly. If you are not prepared for snow, ice, heavy rain and wind, the likelihood of deadly and serious accidents spike. Thanksgiving week is especially challenging because many people are not prepared for the changing weather.
This Thanksgiving is a great time to celebrate family and to give thanks for all that we have been given by the grace of God. We at the Inland Empire Law Group wish everyone safe and secure travel during this holiday weekend. David H. Ricks