While not limited to the Thanksgiving holiday, practicing safe driving is true all year round. However, during Thanksgiving, the stage is set: lots of food and spirits, lots of celebrations, football, and laughter – invincibility. Not to mention the number of people on the road is much greater during Thanksgiving – and increases the probability that accidents occur. In fact, Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest driving days of the year. According the AAA, in 2016, more than 89% of Thanksgiving holiday travelers were by automobile and 43.5 million Americans planned a road trip for the holiday. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, DUI arrests are at their peak – closely followed by New Year’s weekend. Thanksgiving Eve is often referred to as “Blackout Wednesday,” as it’s the busiest night of the year for bars. Social binge drinking is also common during this extended weekend.
Obviously, driving drunk or impaired is never the right answer no matter the distance. Ensuring you are sober before getting behind the wheel of a car or truck IS the right answer. There are things you can do in combination with driving sober to ensure your holiday travel stays safe every year:
Maintain what you’ve got
Thanksgiving is that time of year that falls in between Fall and Winter. If you haven’t done so already, maintaining your car or truck is an easy way to better the odds if you’re road tripping over the holiday weekend:
While you can’t control the other drivers on the road, you can control your own vehicle, your own driving behaviors and your decision to drink. This is the time of year to be thankful – for family, friends, health – it’s up to you to keep it that way. Being smart about how much you drink over the Thanksgiving weekend is more than half the battle. It’s a busy travel day – designate a driver this holiday. If you’re going to drive, be safe, be sober, be thankful.