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Surviving Holiday Road Trips

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On: Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:35AM | By: Karen Cook

Surviving Holiday Road Trips

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go; the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow.

Perhaps horses can navigate dependably at this time of year but it seems to be a little more difficult for people driving gas-powered sleighs.

Millions of people travel to grandmother’s house or to some other relatives for their turkey and dressing, but not everyone makes it to the holiday celebration unscathed. According to a study done last year by Progressive Insurance, automobile accidents typically spike on the day before Thanksgiving. The insurance company calls it “Black Wednesday”. They studied the hours between 8pm and 3am since this is when people usually travel for this particular holiday. This time period was compared to the other Wednesdays in November. Accidents involving rear-end collisions or parking increased by 24%, general collisions by 17%, and crashes into buildings or other personal property jumped by 14%.

Of course, these numbers are just averages, but some states fared worse than others. Maryland and Oregon seem to be the worst places to travel being 61 and 60% more dangerous overall than anywhere else in the country. Iowa and Illinois were 38% more deadly and North Carolina came in with a 35%.

There are several factors that contribute to the danger of travel on this holiday. 90% of people who go elsewhere for Thanksgiving do so by car. They are driving on unfamiliar roads and late at night when they are more susceptible to drowsiness. They are often navigating riskier two-lane roads with less than adequate lighting. For families with relatives in the country, the wildlife in the area plays its part in raising the danger levels. This is because November is smack in the middle of deer mating season when male deer are paying more attention to females than traffic.

Another major factor in the injuries and fatalities surrounding this holiday is drunk driving. People who have had one eggnog too many are in no fit state to drive on roads which are dark, snowy or wet, and possibly crawling with amorous deer.

If you are planning a road trip please take proper precautions. Make sure you are well rested and that you are as familiar as possible with the route to your destination. Take your time. Try to keep yourself calm and avoid aggressive driving. Remember that lots of the people you’re sharing the road with are as eager to “get there” as you are. Take special care on dark back roads and go slowly enough to react to wildlife in the roadway. Everyone who is waiting for you would rather you were late than absent. It’s ok. They will save you the drumstick and some cranberry sauce.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

11-24 arm


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