Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday of the year, and it’s not even close.
As you gear up for Black Friday, the flipside of the Thanksgiving holiday is sadly known as Blackout Wednesday. Instead of a day invented by marketing gurus to kick off the holiday spending season, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving derives its moniker from the scary fact that it is the biggest drinking night of the year.
One of the most troubling trends of the season is a substantial rise in binge drinking and DUIs on Thanksgiving Eve. The day before Thanksgiving has become particularly high-risk for college students, and bars in some urban areas report seeing more business on that day than St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s.
In reality, Thanksgiving is the holiday that statistically has the largest number of drunk driving fatalities – and it’s not even close. Traffic deaths, including “Blackout Wednesday” and “Black Friday,” account for more than 400 traffic deaths each year.
These heightened dangers continue through the Thanksgiving weekend. Between navigating unfamiliar roads, driving late at night or after having a few drinks, and the sheer fact that when traffic volume goes up, car crash numbers generally go up as well, it’s extremely important to drive safe and be careful over this long weekend. We all need to take extra precautions this weekend. What can you do to help make your trip a safe one this Thanksgiving? The Red Cross has compiled a helpful list:
- Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.
- Start out with a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full.
- Buckle up, slow down, don’t drive impaired. Designate a driver who won’t drink.
- Be well rested and stay alert.
- Use caution in work zones.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones
- Observe speed limits.
- Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers.
- Be respectful of motorists and follow the rules of the road.
- Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
- Clean the vehicle’s headlights, taillights, signal lights, and windows.
- Turn your headlights on as disk approaches.
- Don’t overdrive your headlights.
- If car trouble develops, pull off the road as far as possible.
Wishing you abundance, hope, peace and a festive holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving to you!