Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, family, and of course, stuffing yourself silly. It’s a holiday perfect for foodies and it’s pretty easy to take it a little overboard when indulging for the holiday. It’s always nice to let loose and let go of any diets or worries or stresses for a day.
That said, there’s a difference between letting loose for fun and going way too overboard with it. In the case of Thanksgiving, it seems that drinking may actually be where drivers are going wrong for the holiday.
According to statistics, Thanksgiving has a very high rate of alcohol-related traffic violations. There’s a high rate of alcohol-impaired driving on the weekend of Thanksgiving, so much that the Wednesday before has been dubbed “black Wednesday” due to the volume of arrests and infractions.
It’s estimated that nearly 55 million Americans are traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday, making it traffic-heavy day considering the circumstances.
More cars and more traffic turns into a 64 percent increase in accident alerts and a 38 percent increase in police alerts on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving Eve. Though there’s no direct or well-researched answer as to why it’s on this particular day that drivers tend to be reckless, it may have something to do with having the day off, the stress of travel, and the ease of indulging for the holidays amidst the otherwise-rough work week.
"...a 64 percent increase in accident alerts and a 38 percent increase in police alerts on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving Eve."
Aceable recommends that travelers hit the road before 11:00 a.m. and try to plan their travels for Thursday and Friday as opposed to Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday and Wednesday are the peak days for traffic, which means drivers are only putting themselves at more risk when they begin their journeys.
Drinking and driving is never, ever acceptable, so make sure that you or whomever is driving are able to pass on any drinks. Alcohol-related arrests can end in tickets, fines, jail time, accidents, and death, none of which you want to experience ever, let alone on a holiday. When in doubt, call a ride. It's so easy with rideshare apps that there's really no excuse for intoxicated driving.
Not only should you be making sure that you or those you love are saying no to drinking before driving, you should also be alert and on the defense if you drive yourself.
Follow all traffic rules and remain engaged behind the wheel. If someone is swerving or another driver seems impaired, avoid them and call 911 if it gets to the point of questioning your safety and the wellbeing of others. Be on your best behavior and be wary of those who are not doing the same.
Please feel free to indulge and have fun this Thanksgiving, but just don’t go overboard. Be safe. Happy Thanksgiving!