Are you planning to travel by car over the Thanksgiving holiday? It is critical to understand your risk of a car accident if you do intend to visit family or friends. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 emergency has resulted in less overall traffic and traffic reductions, motor vehicle collisions have actually become deadlier. Given that Thanksgiving is already known as a particularly deadly holiday for automobile travel, the combination with pandemic traffic fatality rates could be devastating. A majority of these crashes result from driver error.
When another driver is responsible for a collision that causes serious or fatal injuries, it is essential to speak with a Manassas auto accident lawyer about seeking financial compensation for losses and holding the at-fault driver accountable. One of the dedicated personal injury attorneys at our firm can speak with you today about filing a claim.
How Dangerous is Thanksgiving Road Travel?
Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays to travel in your car. What causes the rise in serious and deadly car crashes around Thanksgiving? There are a couple of different reasons for the overall increase in traffic fatalities surrounding the holiday. First, there are more people traveling. Anytime there are more cars on the road, the overall rate of accidents increases—from minor fender-benders to more serious and life-threatening collisions. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 55 million Americans traveled by car over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2019, and that number represents a continued increase over previous years. In addition, Thanksgiving is often the first major holiday to occur when weather is starting to get cold and wintry, meaning that millions of drivers could be behind the wheel while navigating winter weather such as ice and sleet.
Beyond the sheer number of vehicles on the roads and the possibility of wintry weather, the Thanksgiving holiday also has some of the highest rates of drunk driving accidents during the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drinking and driving is a serious problem surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, especially on Thanksgiving Eve (the night before Thanksgiving). As the NHTSA explains, between 2012 and 2016, more than 800 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday, thereby “making it the deadliest holiday on our roads.” Accordingly, if you are still planning to be traveling on Wednesday evening to reach your Thanksgiving destination, you should take special caution.
Considering COVID-19 Traffic Patterns
In order to consider accident risks during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, it is critical to look closely at traffic patterns and accident rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, overall traffic has declined substantially during the pandemic—by about 16 percent—yet fatal accident rates have risen by about 30 percent. How can these two seemingly incompatible statistics be reconciled? Although there are fewer vehicles causing traffic and congestion, more drivers are behaving dangerously on the roads. From extreme speeding to more incidents of intoxicated driving, the roads have actually become deadlier during the pandemic.
You might be wondering how this will affect Thanksgiving travel and accident likelihoods this year. We could end up seeing fewer Thanksgiving travelers on the road due to COVID-19, mirroring the overall decline in traffic rates. Yet even if fewer drivers than normal take to the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday, 2020 could be a particularly deadly year for Thanksgiving car crashes given the recent rise in fatalities more generally.
Contact a Manassas Car Accident Attorney
Do you have questions about car accident claims, or do you need help seeking compensation after a serious collision? One of the Manassas car accident attorneys at our firm can talk with you today about your options. Contact Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C. for more information.