Arash Law’s Thanksgiving Travel Guide – Your Roadmap For Safety During The Holidays

Table of Contents

    Thanksgiving is a celebration centered around gratitude, family, love, and gratefulness. The occasion marks the start of the holiday season, ushering in the Black Friday bustle and intensified holiday shopping. However, amidst the festivity, it’s important to recognize that the roads can become equally chaotic. Regardless of what’s on your calendar, do not overlook the importance of safe driving, especially at the busiest travel times.

    According to the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) projections, an estimated 55.4 million travelers will travel a distance of 50 miles or more from home this year’s Thanksgiving. It’s a 2.3% increase from last year and marks the third-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2000. Notably, gas prices are expected to be more favorable than last Thanksgiving’s national average of $3.58. Air travel is also set to see a notable rise, with 4.7 million people expected to fly, marking a 6.6% increase from 2022.

    Thanksgiving is coming soon, and whether you’re planning a road trip, a flight, or a cruise, our Thanksgiving travel tips will help you have a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free holiday. Arash Law, led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., is committed to providing you with the information you need to make this Thanksgiving travel season a success. To help you start the holidays right, we’ve put together a guide to help you navigate this busy time of year.

    Projected Thanksgiving Day Statistics for 2023

    Thanksgiving Day is consistently observed on the fourth Thursday in November, resulting in a 4.25-day weekend spanning Wednesday evening through Sunday. In 2023, the Thanksgiving weekend spans from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 26.

    The National Safety Council (NSC) projects that approximately 507 individuals may lose their lives in motor vehicle incidents on U.S. roads during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday period. Traditionally, holidays prompt increased travel across the United States, with many individuals opting for car travel—an option associated with the highest fatality rate per passenger mile among major forms of motorized transportation.

    Furthermore, holidays often involve celebratory activities, including alcohol consumption, a significant contributing factor to motor vehicle crashes. The 90% confidence interval for the projected traffic deaths during this holiday period ranges from 439 to 580.

    By understanding these alarming statistics, Arash Law hopes to foster awareness, promote safe driving practices, and contribute to a holiday season where joy and safety go hand in hand.

    Statistics For Driving During Holidays

    Intensified traffic conditions during the holidays often result in increased fatalities and injuries on the road. Based on the established ratio of medically consulted injuries to fatalities (114:1) and rounded to the nearest hundred, the anticipated number of non-fatal medically consulted injuries resulting from crashes throughout the holiday period is expected to be 57,800, with a 90% confidence interval ranging from 50,000 to 66,100.

    Research indicates that seat belts when correctly utilized, are 45% effective in preventing fatalities among front-seat passenger car occupants (see note below for additional details). It is estimated that during this Thanksgiving holiday period, seat belt usage could save approximately 201 lives. Additionally, if everyone wears their seat belts, an extra 118 lives can be saved.

    On a nationwide scale, alcohol-impaired fatalities (involving a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 g/dL or higher) constituted 31% of traffic fatalities in 2021. Throughout Thanksgiving Day, 36% of fatalities involved a driver impaired by alcohol.

    How To Drive Safely On Thanksgiving

    Whether traveling on a short trip to a nearby celebration or undertaking a more extended road trip, prioritizing your safety on the road becomes essential. From meticulous planning and vehicle check-ups to restful breaks and awareness of potential distractions, these essential Thanksgiving driving safety tips aim to equip you with the knowledge needed for a smooth and incident-free drive.

    Seatbelt Use

    1. Plan Ahead

      Before taking off on your Thanksgiving journey, plan your travel route. Utilize GPS navigation systems to stay informed about real-time traffic conditions and possible road closures. Explore alternative routes to bypass congested areas and construction zones. Check the weather forecast to prepare for bad weather conditions. If staying overnight, pack essentials thoughtfully and equip the car with snacks and entertainment for passengers, especially if it’s a lengthy trip.

      Additionally, if you’re driving after dark, you should be aware of the dangers of driving at night. We also compiled a list of helpful tips concerning the dangers of night driving if you want to make sure you’re adequately prepared before you set off.

    2. Vehicle Check-Up

      Ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition before hitting the road. Have a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic, addressing brakes, engine, lights, and other critical components. Properly inflate tires, top up all fluids (including oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid), and carry a spare set of car keys.

    3. Prioritize Resting

      Combat driver fatigue by ensuring you are well-rested, especially for long journeys. Share driving responsibilities among family members to prevent exhaustion. If drowsiness sets in, pull over at a safe location to rest or stretch your legs.

    4. Seatbelt Use

      Always wear your seatbelt because it is a highly effective measure in reducing injury risks in accidents. Ensure all passengers, including those in the back seat, whether your kids or pets are securely buckled before starting the engine.

      More about car seat safety for kids.

    5. Minimize Distractions

      In the age of constant connectivity, prioritize focus on the road. Store your phone away – no calls or texts while the engine is running. If necessary, find a safe spot to stop for any communication. Keep music volume at a reasonable level, and ensure children and pets have activities to minimize distractions.

      Furthermore, try not to eat while driving. If you want to know whether it is illegal to eat while driving or not, it’s perfectly legal. However, munching on snacks while you drive might distract you from the road.

    6. Maintain Safe Following Distance

      In heavy holiday traffic, uphold a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Adhere to the 3-second rule – pick a stationary object on the roadside, such as a sign or tree, and count to three after the preceding car passes it. If you reach the spot before completing the count, adjust your distance.

    7. Watch for Wildlife

      Be vigilant for wildlife, especially in rural or wooded areas. Animals, particularly grazing deer, are more active during dawn and dusk. Slow down if you encounter wildlife on the road, avoiding sudden movements that could lead them into oncoming traffic.

    8. Emergency Preparedness

      Despite precautions, accidents or breakdowns can still occur. Be prepared with a first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, reflective triangles, and essential tools like a manual car jack, lug wrench, portable tire inflator, and tire gauge. Carry important contact numbers, including your insurance provider’s claims hotline and local emergency services.

    Before setting off for Thanksgiving dinner, these supplemental tips may be helpful to loosen your worries on the road:

    • Don’t Drink and Drive

      Partaking in the dangerous practice of “Blackout Wednesday” is strongly discouraged. This trend, gaining popularity online, encourages excessive alcohol consumption on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, a period when numerous individuals take to the roads.

      Under no circumstances should you engage in drinking and driving. Alcohol significantly impairs judgment and reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents. If you’ve consumed alcohol, ensure you get enough rest before operating a vehicle. Being apprehended with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% can result in a DUI charge. In California, the legal limit is set at 0.08%.

    • Consider Weather Conditions

      As Thanksgiving approaches, numerous regions in the U.S. contend with winter weather, including snowfall. Adverse weather conditions contribute to road accidents. To ensure safety during winter weather, adhere to the following guidelines:

      • Make your car winter-ready by transitioning to snow tires, conducting a thorough tune-up, and checking crucial components like brakes, defroster, lights, and wiper blades. Additionally, maintain an emergency kit in your trunk.
      • Exercise caution and slow down, particularly in inclement weather. Slippery roads and reduced visibility make speeding exceptionally dangerous.
      • Buckle up at all times. In 2020, approximately 51% of passengers killed in traffic accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
      • Avoid distractions and impairment while driving, especially in harsh weather conditions. Full alertness is essential for safe navigation during severe weather.
    • Bring Your Insurance Cards

      Before hitting the road, confirm the presence of your insurance cards. This might be one of the most essential Thanksgiving travel safety tips you need to be aware of. These cards serve as tangible proof of coverage, vital in scenarios where you might encounter law enforcement or be part of an accident. Opt for the convenience of digital copies by printing them online or capturing photos to store on your phone for quick accessibility, saving you from unnecessary hassles.

    • Check for Roadside Assistance

      Thanksgiving Weekend road trips, often filled with travelers, can benefit significantly from roadside assistance coverage. This service encompasses towing, battery jumpstarts, tire changes, and even fuel delivery if you find yourself stranded. The assurance of timely help just a phone call away adds to your peace of mind during roadside emergencies.

    • Assess Whether Car Insurance Policy Extends To Your Rental Car

      For those planning to rent a car during Thanksgiving, assess whether your car insurance policy extends coverage to rental cars. Some policies automatically provide this coverage, while others may necessitate additional coverage from the rental car agency. Furthermore, in case of an accident or car damage, inquire about potential coverage for the costs associated with renting a replacement vehicle.

    • Drive Safely on a Long-Distance Trip

      If you’re gearing up for lengthy trips, exercise heightened caution, especially with the surge in Thanksgiving traffic. Prioritize the upkeep of your vehicle to steer clear of breakdowns or accidents resulting from mechanical glitches. Assemble a comprehensive emergency kit during long drives, including blankets, hand warmers, water, non-perishable snacks, a flashlight, and a portable phone charger. While the hope is that you won’t need it, preparedness is essential, especially in unforeseen scenarios like a blizzard.

    Even though factors like weather conditions and the behavior of other drivers are beyond your control, doing your responsibility to avoid road accidents can significantly contribute to a safe Thanksgiving travel experience.

    What Are The Peak Travel Times During Thanksgiving?

    Peak Travel Times During ThanksgivingBeing aware of peak congestion patterns in different metro areas can be helpful. Major cities often experience heavier traffic during specific times of the day. For instance, morning rush hours and late afternoon commutes are notorious for causing gridlock in urban centers. Adjusting your travel plans to avoid these peak periods can minimize the chances of getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

    The Best and Worst Travel Days to Drive During Thanksgiving

    Ideally, one should travel days before Thanksgiving week to miss heavy traffic. However, that is not usually the case since many individuals do not have the luxury to miss work. So, they only get to travel a day before the event.

    Wednesday morning is the best time for traveling during the Thanksgiving period. The challenges of road traffic might persist throughout the entire week. So everyone should expect traffic on Thanksgiving day and the days before and after.

    According to AAA Travel, these are the worst times to drive this week:

    • Wednesday afternoon

      Driving between 2 and 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve is expected to witness a minimum 11.4% traffic increase. For those on the road on Wednesday, it is suggested to start the journey before 11 a.m.

    • Thursday: Thanksgiving Day

      Thanksgiving itself experiences peak gridlock from around 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To avoid the heaviest rush, plan to depart before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m. if you’re thinking of driving on Thanksgiving day.

    • Black Friday

      The Friday after Thanksgiving might just be the worst day to travel. Roads are expected to be most congested from noon to 4 p.m. on Black Friday. Optimal travel times are before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

    • Saturday and Late Sunday

      During the weekend, only a brief two-hour window from 3 to 5 p.m. is projected to be challenging for travelers, with a recommendation for an early departure before noon. Planes, trains, and automobiles are set to experience an unprecedented surge in travel this week.

    INRIX, a leading provider of transportation data and insights, anticipates Wednesday, November 22, to witness the highest traffic volume on the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, with average travel times soaring up to 80% over normal levels in specific metro areas. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) anticipates that this holiday season will mark the highest travel volume in history. No roadways, particularly in the tri-state area, will be spared from excessive Thanksgiving travel activity.

    The day before Thanksgiving is one of the most congested days on our roadways. According to INRIX, travelers should brace themselves for extended delays, particularly in and around major metros. With an abundance of travelers across various modes of transportation, drivers can anticipate substantial traffic congestion on highways and local roads. INRIX suggests planning journeys in the morning or after 6 p.m. to sidestep the most intense holiday congestion.

    Being aware of when and where congestion is likely to build can mitigate holiday traffic frustrations. We recommend drivers use traffic apps, stay updated with local DOT notifications, and leverage 511 services for real-time updates.

    Holiday Travel Costs

    This holiday season, travelers are generally experiencing lower expenses for domestic trips compared to the previous year, with international vacations showing a mixed trend. Notably, airfare for domestic flights is slightly pricier this season, whereas international flights are marginally more affordable. Below is a breakdown of average booking prices for November and December, as per AAA Travel data:

    If you’re thinking about flying on Thanksgiving day:

    • The average cost for a domestic flight is $681, marking a 5% increase from 2022.
    • The average cost for an international flight is $1,231, reflecting a 5.7% decrease from the previous year.

    If you’re booking a hotel:

    • The average cost for a domestic hotel stay is $598, indicating a 12% reduction from 2022.
    • The average cost for an international hotel stay is $772, exhibiting a 5% rise from last year.

    If you want to rent a car:

    • The average cost for a domestic rental car reservation is $590, showcasing a 20% decrease from 2022.
    • The average cost for an international rental car reservation is $696, demonstrating a 9% increase from the previous year.

    If you’re considering going on a cruise:

    • The average cost for a domestic cruise is $1,507, revealing a 12% reduction compared to 2022.
    • The average cost for an international cruise is $2,902, indicating a 24% rise from last year.

    If you want to enjoy tours:

    • The average cost for a domestic tour is $1,058, presenting a 15% decrease compared to 2022.
    • The average cost for an international tour is $1,208, reflecting a 21% increase from the previous year.

    Preparing for Weather Challenges on the Road on Thanksgiving

    While the recent weather across the U.S. has been relatively calm, weather forecast models are suggesting a shift to a more active weather scenario coinciding with the commencement of Thanksgiving travel.

    Depending on your location, fall, winter, and spring often bring freezing temperatures. While these chilly conditions might keep you indoors, if your car is exposed to the cold outside, it becomes vulnerable to various cold weather-related issues. Ensuring your vehicle is winter-ready during Thanksgiving is important.

    How Can Freezing Temperatures Impact My Car?

    Freezing temperatures can lead to wear and tear on your vehicle, ranging from minor inconveniences like faster tire pressure loss to more severe issues such as frozen fuel lines. Here are tips to prevent or address these problems:

    Check Tire Pressure

    • Prevent Low-Tire Pressure – Cold temperatures cause the air in tires to contract, lowering tire pressure. Check tire pressure weekly during winter and top it off if needed to avoid TPMS warnings and ensure safe driving.
    • Dodge A Dead Battery – Cold weather slows down battery chemical reactions, reducing its power. Test your battery before winter; consider a battery or engine block warmer, and carry jumper cables or a battery jumper pack.
    • Don’t Let Fuel Lines And Other Car Fluids Freeze – Moisture in the gas tank and lines can freeze, blocking fuel flow. Keep your gas tank at least half full in winter to limit potential freezing. Additionally, ensure other car fluids are rated for cold weather to prevent thickening or freezing. Only use properly rated fluids for the replacement of engine oil, transmission fluid, and wiper fluid.
    • Don’t Damage Your Wiper Blades – Defrost windows before using wiper blades to prevent wear from ice and snow. Clear ice and snow with an ice scraper before activating wipers.
    • Avoid Salt Damage – Salt used on roads in some regions can lead to increased vehicle corrosion. Regularly spray down your car, focusing on vulnerable areas like the undercarriage, wheel wells, brake, and fuel lines.
    Driving in Snow and Ice Safely For Thanksgiving

    The winter season often brings challenges like snow and icy roads, demanding extra precautions for safe travels during Thanksgiving. Here are some safe driving tips for winter to ensure a worry-free ride during the holiday season:

    1. Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Driving

      Make sure your vehicle is properly prepared for winter conditions. Schedule a maintenance checkup to ensure all components are in optimal working condition before Thanksgiving. Pay special attention to your vehicle’s tires and tire pressures, belts and hoses, battery, oil, lights, exhaust system, heater/defrosters, wipers, ignition system, and brakes. Also, ensure your gas tank is at least half full before driving.

      Important tip – Consider equipping your car with chains or snow tires when traveling on roads with remnants of snow and ice. Snow tires provide better traction on icy surfaces, while chains can effectively prevent your vehicle from getting stuck.

    2. Drive at a Safe Speed

      When navigating through snow and freezing rain, it is advisable to drive at a slower speed. Accelerate and decelerate gradually to avoid loss of control. High speeds in winter conditions can lead to reduced traction and an increased risk of accidents. Slowing down allows you to better gauge the road conditions and test your steering control and braking capabilities. When stopping or turning, brake gently to bring the car to a slow stop rather than making a sudden halt.

    3. Maintain a Safe Following Distance

      When driving in stormy winter weather, staying at least 3 to 4 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you is crucial. Increase this distance to at least 6 to 8 seconds when driving on ice or snow. Stay alert and avoid distractions when following another vehicle. Safe driving in snow requires constant attention to your immediate surroundings.

    4. Avoid Using Cruise Control

      Refrain from using cruise control when driving on icy or snowy roads. Cruise control reduces your control over the vehicle, causing an accident. Always deactivate cruise control when driving in winter conditions.

    Before hitting the road, check the weather forecast and plan your route accordingly. Stay informed about the current and upcoming weather conditions to ensure a safe and well-prepared journey for Thanksgiving.

    How To Travel with Pets During Thanksgiving

    How To Travel with Pets During ThanksgivingMany families want to bring their pets with them during Thanksgiving. Fortunately, there are strategies to enhance safety and reduce the stress of holiday travel for both you and your pets. Consider these useful Thanksgiving driving tips if you are considering bringing your dog or cat this Thanksgiving.

    If you are traveling by car:
    1. Secure Your Pet in the Car – When you’re traveling with your dog or cat, it’s important to keep them safe in the car. Pets can be a big distraction for the driver and may cause accidents. Unrestrained pets could get hurt or hurt others in case of a crash. To ensure safety, use a seat belt and harness combo for your dog, or consider a crash-tested dog crate or carrier. For cats, a soft-sided crate with space for a litter box can make car travel much more comfortable.
    2. Dealing with Car Sickness in Dogs – Did you know that almost half of dog owners say their dogs feel sick when traveling in a car? If your dog is one of them, there are medications that can help prevent vomiting due to motion sickness. Check with your vet to make sure you have these medications on hand before you travel. Take a quiz to see if your dog shows signs of car sickness so you can be prepared for a smooth journey.
    3. Tackle Travel Anxiety Early – Many pets feel nervous when they have to travel in a car. Talk to your vet about available treatments for travel anxiety. You can also work with a certified trainer to learn simple exercises that can help your pet get more comfortable with car rides or being in a carrier. Addressing travel anxiety well in advance can make the journey much more enjoyable for both you and your pet.
    If you are traveling by plane:

    Preparing for air travel with your dog or cat requires careful planning. You must be familiar with the regulations and availability of pet air travel, as these can vary among different airlines. Given the stress that flying can impose on pets, it’s advisable to avoid it if possible, especially for dogs that may need to be placed in the cargo area. If flying is unavoidable, make arrangements well in advance, keeping in mind that there are restrictions on the number of pets allowed in both the cabin and cargo hold.

    For Cat Owners:

    Not all airlines permit cats in the cabin, so it’s essential to check with your specific airline. Additionally, take note of the carrier size requirements to ensure it fits under the seat. You’ll need to carry your cat when passing through security, so having them on a harness and leash is a good idea for added security.

    For Dog Owners:

    If your dog is too large for in-cabin travel, you may need to consider whether they can fly in the cargo hold. While many pets are safely transported this way annually, there have been instances of injuries, fatalities, or lost animals. Brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds, such as Pekinese, French Bulldogs, and Pugs, should never be placed in the cargo hold due to their increased susceptibility to heart issues, breathing difficulties, and heatstroke.

    For those who are considering the pros and cons of driving with your pets, your safety on the road is what really matters most. As you gear up for holiday travels, with proper preparation and thoughtful planning, your pet can accompany you safely and share in the festive season.

    Most Common Traffic Accidents On Thanksgiving

    On Thanksgiving, several common accidents tend to occur due to increased travel and specific holiday-related factors:

    1. Rear-End Collisions – With heavy traffic, particularly before Thanksgiving dinner, rear-end collisions, among others, are frequent, often resulting in whiplash and concussions.
    2. Distracted Driving – The use of smartphones and navigation systems during Thanksgiving leads to an uptick in accidents due to driver inattentiveness.
    3. Speeding – Some drivers exceed speed limits, especially on long highways, potentially causing fractures or broken bones in the event of a collision.
    4. Impaired Driving – Celebrations involving alcohol contribute to a higher incidence of accidents caused by impaired drivers during the holiday season.
    5. Weather-Related Accidents – Common during Thanksgiving, adverse weather conditions make roads slippery and reduce visibility, leading to accidents.
    6. Improper Driving – Unfamiliarity with California’s tricky roads can result in unsafe maneuvers, like sudden lane changes and improper seatbelt use, leading to injuries.
    7. Animal Collisions – Collisions with wildlife, such as coyotes or deer, are more common in certain areas of California, causing injuries ranging from concussions to traumatic brain injuries.
    8. Mechanical Failures – Vehicle breakdowns, particularly during long-distance drives, are a common cause of accidents, potentially resulting in collisions or traffic obstructions.
    9. Inexperienced Drivers – The presence of college students and young adults with limited driving experience increases the likelihood of road accidents, especially for those riding motorcycles.
    10. Improperly Secured Cargo – Ensuring the proper security of items within or on vehicles is crucial to prevent potential hazards on the road, such as cuts, lacerations, and injuries from airbag deployment.

    Where Do Traffic Accidents Happen The Most In California?

    Travel patterns and traffic accident trends can vary due to factors like population density, road infrastructure, weather, lack of public transportation, and travel behavior. Despite these influences, certain areas in California have consistently shown higher rates of traffic accidents over time. If you plan to travel to these locations during the Thanksgiving holiday season, exercise extra caution and have a contingency plan in case of an accident.

    Los Angeles County – Los Angeles, the most populous county in California, is known for heavy traffic, particularly during peak hours. Areas like downtown LA, Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley have witnessed relatively high numbers of traffic accidents on busy travel days due to their large populations and extensive road networks.

    Orange County – Orange County’s encompassing cities, such as Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Irvine, have a notable frequency of traffic accidents. This is attributed, in part, to its densely populated urban environment and numerous highways.

    San Diego County – As a major city in California, San Diego encounters its share of traffic accidents. Busy highways like Interstate 5 and Interstate 8, prone to congestion during commute times, contribute to the accident rate. Additionally, the city’s suburbs and residential areas see a high number of car accidents due to the significant volume of drivers on the roads.

    Bay Area – The San Francisco Bay Area, covering cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, attracts substantial crowds during Thanksgiving. Congestion on bridges, freeways, and city streets can contribute to accidents in this region.

    Riverside County – Southern California’s Riverside County, particularly in areas like Riverside and Moreno Valley, experiences an uptick in traffic accidents.

    Sacramento County – The state capital, Sacramento, and its surroundings face congestion during holidays, especially on major highways such as Interstate 80 and Interstate 5.

    Central Valley – Encompassing cities like Fresno, Bakersfield, and Modesto, the Central Valley features a diverse agricultural landscape and extensive roadways. Unfortunately, accidents are not uncommon in this region, often resulting from excessive speed.

    These are just a few California areas prone to traffic accidents. It’s important to note that accident statistics change periodically, and ongoing efforts are made to enhance road safety during Thanksgiving.

    What Should You Do After A Driving Accident During Thanksgiving?

    Thanksgiving is one of the holidays where accidents resulting in fatalities happen quite often, and it’s usually among the top five holidays with the highest number of ER visits. Remember that there’s a significant risk of car accidents for people who are traveling during the holidays.

    A lot of people in the States will be driving to see their family members. If you get into a car accident while you’re traveling this Thanksgiving, make sure to do these things:

    1. If it’s safe, move your car to the side of the road and out of harm’s way.
    2. Dial emergency services at 911.
    3. Contact your local police department.
    4. Gather details about the cars in the accident, like the license plate number, year, make, color, and model.
    5. Make sure to get the contact info, driver’s license, insurance, and registration from everyone involved in the accident who was driving. Take pictures of these papers using your phone.
    6. Write down all the details about the accident, like where it happened, when it happened, and any other important information. You can use this as a note on your phone.
    7. Make sure to take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your car and the other cars involved.
    8. Get in touch with your insurance company and tell them what happened. Please provide your explanation of what happened and share any relevant documents you have collected so far.

    Also, driving while under the influence of alcohol doesn’t stop during any particular time of the year. About 29 percent of the deaths that happen during Thanksgiving involve a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you’re driving, you must know how to recognize the signs of drunk drivers:

    • Slow or fast response to traffic signals
    • Inability to control a vehicle, like swerving in and out of lanes
    • Excessive stopping/breaking
    • Making illegal turns
    • Driving without headlights at night
    • Driving on the wrong side of the road

    If you had a car crash during Thanksgiving weekend, our lawyers at Arash Law can help you. Don’t let a car accident ruin your vacation. Spend quality time with the people you care about. Contact us now at (888) 488-1391 to schedule a free consultation.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Safe Driving Tips During Thanksgiving

    What is the Busiest Travel Day for Thanksgiving?

    Busiest Travel Day For ThanksgivingAccording to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the days preceding Thanksgiving, specifically Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as the subsequent Sunday, have consistently been identified as the periods of peak travel activity.

    The estimated number of individuals to be screened by the agency is around 2.6 million on Tuesday, November 21st, 2.7 million on Wednesday, November 23rd, and 2.9 million passengers on Sunday, November 26th. Based on the aforementioned predictions, it may be inferred that the Sunday following Thanksgiving is expected to be the day with the highest volume of travel.

    What Day During Thanksgiving Traffic the Worst?

    According to AAA Travel and INRIX, it is expected that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be the most unfavorable day for road travel, as certain metropolitan regions throughout the country are projected to experience an increase of 80% in travel durations during the Thanksgiving week.

    What is the Best Day to Travel by Car on Thanksgiving Week?

    According to AAA, the best days for travel on the road during the busiest Thanksgiving timeframe are Wednesday morning and Sunday morning. It is advisable to allocate a sufficient amount of time for transportation, regardless of whether one intends to travel by air or by road.

    Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Sunday is anticipated to be a day characterized by high levels of travel activity. Consequently, experts recommend considering the option of departing on Monday if feasible.

    What is the Best Time to Travel for Thanksgiving to Avoid Traffic?

    The best time to travel is during the evening hours of either Monday or Tuesday preceding the Thanksgiving holiday, specifically around 8 p.m. If an individual intends to go to a friend or family member’s residence for Thanksgiving, it is advisable to select a time of travel that minimizes the likelihood of encountering delays.

    It is advisable to refrain from undertaking travel plans between the time frame of 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, as this period experiences the highest volume of Thanksgiving-related traffic congestion. In addition, it is worth noting that rush hour traffic commonly occurs during the period when individuals are departing from their workplaces.

    If it is not possible for you to depart until Thanksgiving dinner, we recommend that you refrain from using roadways during the time period spanning from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    Moreover, it is advisable to allocate additional time to your itinerary if you are traveling on a Saturday and require arrival at approximately 11 a.m., as this is generally the peak period for airport congestion.

    Why Is Thanksgiving Dangerous for Drivers?

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cautions individuals to exercise heightened vigilance while engaging in automobile travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, as it is associated with a higher incidence of fatal car accidents compared to other holidays annually. Every year, there is a noticeable surge in the total death rate in the United States during the Thanksgiving period due to a significant rise in car accidents occurring both on and around this holiday.

    Thanksgiving Day, although traditionally a time for family and social festivities, is regrettably the most dangerous day for motorists. In the United States, the average daily fatality rate due to road accidents is 102 individuals. On Thanksgiving Day, around 500 to 600 Americans die due to car accidents.

    The risks associated with this situation can be attributed to two primary factors: a significant increase in the number of drivers present on the road and an elevated level of alcohol intake beyond the limits. Despite the evolving safe driving technology in cars, it’s really up to people to decide whether or not to do the right thing to make sure they, their passengers, and other road users are safe.

    Is Eating While Driving Illegal?

    Many traffic safety organizations consider eating to be a driving distraction, but it is not illegal. While eating seems easy behind the wheel, a driver could easily drop a piece of food, burn themselves from hot food, or spill something, causing a distraction. Drivers may lose control of their vehicles even if they are only distracted for a moment.

    How Can I Help Prevent Car Accidents After Thanksgiving?

    Ensuring the safety of oneself and loved ones is of utmost importance, whether one is hosting guests at their residence or assuming the role of driver during the Thanksgiving holiday.

    When organizing a social gathering at your residence, it is advisable to take into account the following factors:

      1. Ensuring that a designated driver accompanies all individuals who consume alcoholic beverages.
      2. Providing accommodations for individuals who consume alcohol in the absence of a designated driver. Choosing to engage in a brief period of rest on the floor of the living room, utilizing blankets and pillows for comfort, is a preferable alternative to the potential negative consequences associated with being involved in a vehicular collision.
      3. Facilitating the connection between individuals and their acquaintances by providing information on nearby lodging establishments. Certain individuals may experience discomfort when considering the prospect of sleeping at the host’s residence. However, they may readily opt for transportation services such as Uber, Lyft, or taxis to reach a nearby hotel if they find themselves in a state of intoxication or excessive fatigue, thereby ensuring their safety while driving.
      4. Retrieve the keys from the entrance. Although it may be perceived as bothersome, using this measure can assist in verifying that those departing from one’s residence are abstinent from alcohol and mentally capable of operating a vehicle safely.,
      5. Provide non-alcoholic beverage options as substitutes for alcoholic beverages. It would be advantageous to involve children in the process of either providing or assisting in the creation of those items.
      6. Cease the consumption of alcohol prior to the departure of guests. As a point of reference, the process of achieving complete sobriety following the consumption of an average alcoholic beverage typically requires approximately one hour. Therefore, it is advisable to exercise discretion in serving alcoholic beverages to visitors many hours before their intended departure, especially if they have engaged in substantial alcohol consumption.

    Arash Law Wishes You And Your Family Safe Travels This Thanksgiving

    As we come together to give gratitude and spend with our families this Thanksgiving season, keep in mind the importance of safety during this holiday season.

    However, amidst all the merriment, accidents can still happen, even on the road. We sincerely hope you never find yourself in such a situation, but if you do, know that you’re not alone. The dedicated team of car accident lawyers at Arash Law is here to lend a helping hand. The $500 Million in settlements and awards we have recovered for our clients shows we can help win your case. Contact us at (888) 488-1391.

    Always prioritize our well-being and our loved ones. By doing so, we can fully embrace the joy and festivities this time of year brings. Happy Thanksgiving!

    You May Be Entitled to Compensation
    Arash Law Practice Area Border/Divider
    We’ll tell you if you have a case or not within five minutes, call (888) 488-1391

    DISCLAIMER: Information provided on this blog is not formal legal advice. It is generic legal information. Under no circumstances should the information on this page be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal action. Always obtain a free and confidential case evaluation from a reputable attorney near you if you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit.

    Check More From Our Award-Winning Law Firm
    Believe it or not, driving in California without shoes is entirely legal. While many Americans believe it is illegal to drive barefoot, no laws in the United States require drivers to wear footwear while on the road. The dangers of driving...
    A serious traffic accident in California can be an emotionally distressing and life-altering event. In the aftermath of such a devastating incident, obtaining vital information like traffic accident reports might understandably not be your immediate concern, especially if you've sustained...
    In the ever-evolving landscape of modern transportation, Uber has revolutionized moving from point A to B. The convenience of a rideshare service has become an integral part of our daily lives, offering a reliable alternative to traditional taxis. However, there...