Unfortunately, Thanksgiving weekend sees some of the highest rates of auto accidents on roads across the country, compared to all other weekends throughout the year. This increase in auto accidents can be attributed in part to the heavy traffic during the weekend, as millions of people will drive across town, several towns over, or even to another state to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday or to go on vacation for the weekend.
However, there are many other factors that cause or contribute to causing auto accidents during Thanksgiving weekend. Here are five of the most common causes of accidents over Thanksgiving that you should be aware of if you plan to be on the road over the holiday weekend so that you can keep yourself, your passengers, and others safe on the road this Thanksgiving.
Drunk Driving & Drowsy/Fatigued Driving
Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol intoxication or fatigue, represents one of the most frequent factors involved in Thanksgiving weekend auto accidents. Unfortunately, some people choose to consume a little too much alcohol with their Thanksgiving dinner or at a party or get-together over the weekend, before getting behind the wheel to drive home. Drowsy or fatigued driving is also a common problem facing drivers traveling long distances for the holiday weekend, especially if they choose to head home right after a big Thanksgiving dinner or to drive to or from their destination late in the evening or at night.
Remember to never mix drinking and driving. If you are driving long distances, also remember to stop for regular breaks to stretch, get fresh air, and have some snacks or water, which will help keep you refreshed and alert behind the wheel.
With so many vehicles on the road, heavy traffic and delays are often a regular part of any Thanksgiving weekend road trip, especially if bad weather is added in. Traffic delays can cause people to engage in aggressive or reckless driving behaviors like tailgating, undertaking, or unsafe lane changes, especially if they feel like they are going to be late to their destination.
Remember to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, so that if you do run into traffic delays, you won’t feel stressed out.
Distracted driving, especially texting while driving, represents another common cause of auto accidents. If you need to use your phone to call or text your host for Thanksgiving dinner, use a Bluetooth device or the hands-free system in your car to make the call or text. Remember to program your GPS (if needed) before you set off. If you do need to use your phone to pull up directions or search for something on the internet, pull off the road into a rest stop or parking lot to do so.
Many people travel to another city or another state for Thanksgiving, and may not be familiar with the roads they are traveling on. This can lead to people being hyper-focused on their GPS or engaging in unsafe driving behaviors to try to make an exit or turn before they miss it. If you will be driving on roads you are unfamiliar with, try to familiarize yourself with your route before you leave, so that you are not totally dependent on your GPS. In particular, you may want to look at 360 camera views of exits or turns that you will need to make so that you can recognize them as you approach.
Car trouble, such as engine failure, brake failure, or tire blowouts can easily lead to a crash. Remember to have your car inspected before a long trip, and make sure that your fluids are topped off, and that your vehicle lights and windshield wipers are in good working order.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Miramar, Coral Springs, Davie, Boca Raton, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.