The week of Thanksgiving is historically one of the busiest, and most dangerous, times to be on the road. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the night before Thanksgiving has become known as another name; “Blackout Wednesday”. As folks make the journey back to their hometowns to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, a new tradition has made its way into American culture: getting away from your family to have some drinks with your friends! While this is a fun way to reconnect with old friends, it is extremely important to have a plan to avoid getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
While Thanksgiving is one of America's most beloved holidays, according to the NHTSA, it's also the deadliest on our roads. From 2012-2016, over 800 people died in alcohol-related crashes during the holiday period (6:00pm Wednesday through 5:59am Monday), which is a particularly alarming statistic when you consider the 45 million Americans estimated to be planning to embark on road trips during this period. The unfortunate reality is that even if you drive responsibly, you cannot control others making the poor decision to drink and drive. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a drunk driving accident, we ask you to call the offices of Goldberg Noone Abraham today.
- Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, reflects that about one third (1/3) of all traffic fatalities during the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend involved intoxicated drivers.
- More specifically to “Blackout Wednesday”, from 2014 to 2018, 138 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were alcohol impaired.
- Over the past 5 years (2014-2018), 47% of drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 involved in fatal car crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were impaired by alcohol.
- According to Upserve, in 2019 there was a 173% increase in liquor shots sales, and a 31% total increase for all alcohol sales on Thanksgiving Eve compared to the Wednesday prior. While the COVID-19 epidemic will certainly cause a lower turn-out of bar crowds, be sure to stay off the roads at night if possible, and to stay aware of your surroundings should you need to take a drive.
Tips for Staying Safe:
- Be sure to have your safe-driving plan prepared BEFORE having your first drink!
- Have a designated sober driver, if possible! Maybe buy them a non-alcoholic drink or a snack for their trouble. 😉
- If a sober driver is not available, utilize public transportation, a taxi, ride-sharing services, or a community sober ride program to get home safely.
- Examples of local sober ride programs:
- Download the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's SaferRide mobile app. This application allows users to call either a taxi or a pre-determined friend, all while identifying the user's location so that way they can be picked-up safely.
- Android users may find the SaferRide App on Google Play.
- If you suspect that you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement.
- And, of course, whether you are the driver or a passenger, ALWAYS be sure to wear your seatbelt.
While this time of year is meant to be spent celebrating with close family and friends, it is important to do so while keeping safety in mind. It only takes one time getting behind the wheel while intoxicated to destroy a life, possibly your own. All of us here at Goldberg Noone Abraham wish you and your families a safe and healthy holiday season.
Contact Our Firm Today:
While we hope this sort of event never happens to you or a loved one, if you have been injured as a result of a drunk driving accident, we urge you to call the offices of Goldberg Noone Abraham. Our firm has been trusted locally for 20 years, and we look forward to the opportunity of serving you.
Downtown Fort Myers Office: 239-461-5508
Cape Coral Office: 239-208-3000