Are you driving to a relative’s house for the Thanksgiving holiday?
You’ll be joining a record 45.5 million Americans. No wonder Thanksgiving is just as well known for stressful travel as for feasts, family and football.
Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year. This year’s holiday promises to be the biggest in a decade. 3.3 percent more Thanksgiving travelers are expected this year over last and 89 percent will travel by car.
Unfortunately American roads are the most deadly in the industrialized world. This is a new phenomenon. In the 1990s the fatality rates were among the lowest in the world. These days, Slovenians’ roads are safer.
The three S’s can save lives: Speed limit, seat belts and sobriety
Three of the biggest factors are particularly relevant this weekend. Speeding, not wearing a seat belt and drunk driving top the list.
Where other countries have made progress in these three areas, the United States has fallen far behind most other countries.
Most (74 percent) vehicles exceed the speed limit and 15 percent of American drivers do not wear their seat belts. Nearly one-third of traffic deaths involve drunk drivers.
What’s head-scratching is that all three factors are so easily corrected.
Thanksgiving travel hotspots in Dallas-Fort Worth to avoid
Even if you are staying close to home, you will face more than the usual traffic.
What should you do? You can’t avoid driving this weekend.
But you can take steps to stay safe.
First, avoid the traffic hotspots in Dallas if possible.
For example, the AAA anticipates US-75 S at I-45 and I-3 will have heavy congestion. Also avoid roads that lead to the DFW airport, such as TX-183 W, is likely to be backed up Wednesday and Sunday.
Avoid drunk driving hours too. Although celebration is called for, a few people will surely overdo it. If you can, stay off the roads during peak drunk driving hours of 10 to 2 a.m. and immediately following football games.
You don’t want to be late for Thanksgiving dinner, but more importantly, you want to arrive safety.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. If you are in an accident, we are here to help you get your vehicle repaired or totaled quickly, put you into a rental car, recommend doctors and make sure you get the medical treatment you need to stop hurting, file on your personal injury protection coverage, help you process your health insurance claims, assist with workers compensation, Medicare, and Medicaid coverage, provide financial assistance if necessary, then fight to get you the compensation you deserve and help reduce your balances you may owe to hospitals and medical providers.
Our office will be closed early on Wednesday and reopen on Monday so my staff can enjoy time with their families.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Edited Monday 11/27: Here’s a horrible update: a wonderful 14-year-old died Thanksgiving night on her way home from a holiday dinner with her family after a driver ran a red light in Fort Worth on Loop 820. I’m sending the family my prayers.