Thanksgiving is around the corner and with it comes Thanksgiving traffic. This increase in traffic and dangerous driving incidents is why Thanksgiving has received the title of most dangerous holiday of the year. In 2014, Thanksgiving was the holiday period with the most motor vehicle deaths according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Speeding, alcohol, time of day, and weather are exaggerated during the holiday leading to more crashes and more deaths. If you are planning to leave town this week, stay alert and above all, please stay safe.
Best times to travel
If you are driving for the Thanksgiving holiday, the best time to leave town was first thing Sunday morning to avoid the bulk of the traffic. From there, traffic will continue to build up until it peaks at 3PM Wednesday afternoon. After your turkey feast, plan to head back home first thing Friday to avoid a traffic jam, as post-Thanksgiving traffic peaks Saturday at 4PM. If it isn’t possible to stick to this travel schedule, try to plan to be on the road earlier in the day before the crowds hit.
Remember to always follow these driving safety basics:
- Wear your seatbelt
- Follow the speed limit
- Avoid distractions (cell phones, changing the station, eating)
- Don’t get too close to other drivers
Before you travel, it is always recommended to inspect your car and ensure it is up to snuff. A properly maintained vehicle and planned route will not only make your trip go more smoothly, but will also give you peace of mind. Get out there, stay safe, and have a happy Thanksgiving.