As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, many people begin to consider their blessings and express gratitude over the good things in their lives. Often, we realize just how easily gifts such as our health and our loved ones can be taken from us, and we take the time to appreciate them a little more. Unfortunately for many families, Thanksgiving weekend--a time to reflect on our blessings--becomes a time of great tragedy. Thanksgiving weekend is generally the deadliest weekend on American roadways. In fact, the night before Thanksgiving is often considered the "biggest bar night" of the year, and the number of alcohol-related driving accidents skyrockets in the Wednesday through Saturday surrounding each Thanksgiving day. The 102 hour period between 6:00 p.m. Wednesday and midnight Sunday sees a surge of serious automobile accidents, resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths.
Drunk driving accidents and other automobile accidents see a surge at this time of year due in part to the number of people celebrating with alcohol and in part to the increased number of travelers on the nation's interstates and highways. According to the National Safety Commission, ninety percent of those traveling over Thanksgiving weekend doing so by car.
How can you protect yourselves and your loved ones during this dangerous, and potentially deadly, driving weekend?
Our Oklahoma auto accident attorneys offer these tips for keeping your family safe during Thanksgiving travel:
- Always wear your seat belt and make sure children are properly restrained in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. Two-thirds of auto accident fatalities were not wearing their seat belts.
- If possible, travel on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, as roads have fewer travelers on these days.
- Watch your speed. Speed is a contributing factor in most crashes.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Do not drive while drowsy. Make sure you get plenty of rest before hitting the road, and stop frequently to remain alert. The National Safety Commission suggests stopping every two hours or every 100 miles. Do not rely on energy drinks or caffeine to keep you awake and alert.
- Do not text, use a cell phone, or engage in other distractions while driving.
- Plan your route and know your way in advance. Relying on GPS navigation devices and maps can take your eyes from the road.
Despite your precautions, it is still possible to be involved in an auto accident because of other drivers who are careless, reckless, distracted, or intoxicated. If you or your loved ones are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to seek compensation from those who are liable for your injuries, damages, or loss. Click here to find an Oklahoma car accident lawyer who can help with your claim.