Keeping Safe on the Road on Thanksgiving Eve

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: November 13, 2018

Keeping Safe on the Road on Thanksgiving Eve

On Thanksgiving Eve, millions of people across America joyfully take to their cars to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. But here’s a sobering fact: not everyone in the country will make it to the dinner table.

The day before Thanksgiving, also known as the “biggest bar night of the year” or “Blackout Wednesday” is one of the deadliest nights on the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents and deaths often rise on that Wednesday and can remain elevated throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The NHTSA reportsthat from 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died in alcohol-related crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (from Wednesday to Monday morning).

Here in Arizona, DUI arrests roseduring the Thanksgiving weekend last year, from 333 arrests in 2016 to 377 in 2017.  But this spike doesn’t mean there were more alcohol or drug-impaired drivers: many public agencies increased their funding to ensure there were more patrol officers on the road during the holiday weekend.

Keeping Safe on Thanksgiving Eve

Believe it or not, we can bring that alcohol-related holiday fatality rate down to near zero if we all take a few precautions before getting behind the wheel.  Here’s how you can do your part:

  • Designate a driver. Make sure that one person in your group doesn’t drink alcohol all night so they can ensure that all the others get home safely. It’s estimated that designating a driver saves around 50,000 liveseach year.
  • Buckle up. Everyone in the vehicle should wear a seatbelt. In 2016, of the 341 people were killed in the U.S. over the Thanksgiving weekend, 49 percent weren’t wearing seatbelts, according to the NHTSA.
  • Get a ride. Plan on taking a taxi, Uber, Lyft or any other driving or ride-share service to get home. Just be sure to enter the telephone number of the service or download the app on your phone before you leave home.
  • Use AAA’s “Tipsy Tow”.AAA Arizona annually offers a service where intoxicated persons can call a tow truck to deliver them and their vehicle safely home on Thanksgiving Eve night and Thanksgiving morning. You don’t have to be a member of AAA to use the service, just be sure to enter the telephone numberon your phone before you leave the house. While the service is meant to be used as a last resort, don’t hesitate to call if you or a person in need is in a bind.

If you or loved one gets injured in an Arizona car accident this Thanksgiving Eve or holiday weekend, contact Zanes Law at (844) 9260-3753 for a free consultation. We can help you investigate the causes of the accident, help you handle insurance companies, obtain fair compensation and feel more in control.

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Doug Zanes
Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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