(VitalNews.org) – Every year, Americans travel across the country to reunite with families on Thanksgiving, and they use all sorts of transportation methods to get home for the holiday feast. The most common means is, of course, a personal motor vehicle, but it’s also the most dangerous and hundreds die every year in car accidents on Thanksgiving.
Statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that an estimated 507 people may perish on the road this year during the period of Thanksgiving. The report also notes that driving poses the highest risk to travelers compared to other forms of transportation. The report says that “many choose car travel… based on fatalities per passenger miles,” but that cars have “the highest fatality rate” out of all the major forms of motorized transport.
The NSC also points out that holidays are typically accompanied by lots of alcohol consumption, which is a “major contributing factor” to car crashes. The organization shared estimates for how many people could die in car accidents between the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving and the Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend. This number tends to fall between 439 and 580 fatal accidents.
The latest death figures found that 514 died across the country this time of year in 2021, the highest that number has been since 2007, which saw 542 such deaths. The year prior saw 623 deaths on the road, the highest amount seen since 1995, most of which involved drunk driving.
Although alcohol-related driving deaths have decreased over the last few decades, 2020 and 2021 saw 36% of deaths involved alcohol impairment.
The NSC gave a list of things travelers should keep in mind before heading out on the road this Thanksgiving, including preparing the car to make sure everything functions normally, eliminating distractions, staying at or below the speed limit, designating a sober driver or arranging another form of transportation, and more.
Every year, hundreds of Americans lose their lives heading to or from their holiday gatherings. The NSC reminds people that should take extra precautions during Thanksgiving, which seems to be the most dangerous of all holidays.
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