While our attorneys continue to stress the importance of driving safely on any holiday weekend, the importance of this is especially critical this weekend as the long waited Thanksgiving holiday approaches. Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled holiday time of the year and is therefore the most dangerous time of the year, with the highest number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities taking place nationwide. Distraction, alcohol consumption, inclement weather, and heavy traffic all combine to create hazardous conditions. Our law firm wants this year’s Thanksgiving to be enjoyable for you and your family, but we also want everyone to be safe.
This year, the official Thanksgiving holiday period will start at 6:00pm on Wednesday, November 21st and run through midnight on Sunday the 25th. During this four-day period in 2011, 431 people died, according to Einsurance.com. This year, the number of people traveling is expected to increase. To lessen your chances of being in an accident this weekend, here are few things to keep in mind.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that of the fatalities that occurred during the 2011 Thanksgiving weekend, more than two thirds of the total fatalities did not have their seatbelts fastened. Many accidents also occurred because of drivers speeding to their Thanksgiving destination, which reduces reaction time and also makes it less likely for drivers to wear a seatbelt. Therefore, wearing a seatbelt and driving at a proper speed are two easy ways to prevent serious injury.
Another primary issue that causes Thanksgiving accidents is driver fatigue. Most drivers traveling long distances for the weekend leave Wednesday evening, when normal rush hour delays will extend throughout the night and possibly into areas where traffic is normally light. These long periods of driving cause tiredness and frustration; both combined behind the wheel of a car is just as dangerous as drunk driving. When drivers return home after their Thanksgiving festivities, drunk driving actually will take place on the road; in fact, 40% of all Thanksgiving accidents are related to alcohol consumption.
In order to decrease the risk of being in an accident this weekend, our attorneys suggest for drivers to make attempts to travel when traffic is lighter. Plan your route, check weather conditions, and give yourself plenty of time to compensate for weather or traffic delays. Get enough rest before driving and make stops along your route if needed. Don’t speed, don’t text and drive, don’t drink and drive, and always follow the rules of the road.
All of these suggestions should be followed on any occasion, but it is highly encouraged to follow them this weekend. When individuals do suffer serious injuries as the result of negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand that motor vehicle accidents can result in personal injury and life altering consequences. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident due to a careless driver this holiday season, please contact our law firm to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.