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Safe Travel Trips for Thanksgiving Weekend

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Traveling for the Holidays?  Let's make sure to be safe on the roads so that everyone can celebrate!

Family, friends, football and of course, turkey! Thanksgiving is largely considered one of the happiest holidays of the year, but sadly it’s also the deadliest. Did you know that Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous days of the year to drive?  In fact, no holiday in the country leads to more fatal traffic collisions.

If you are planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holidays, here are a few important statistics  to make you aware of the dangers of traveling during the upcoming holiday and a few tips to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe to celebrate this occasion with friends and family both this year and many years to come.

Thanksgiving Dinner

A Dangerous Time for Driving

According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Thanksgiving had 410 fatal crashes involving motorists in 2014.  This was by far the highest number of auto accidents involving a fatality with Christmas having only 360 crashes involving motorists.  In addition, there were nearly 50,000 non-fatal crashes occurring during this same period.

Additional Cars on The Road

Why are these numbers so high?  This can likely be attributed to the number of vehicles actually out and about on the highways.  AAA projects that 51 million people will travel 50 miles or more this year for Thanksgiving.  That number jumped up 3.3 percent from last year.  With gas prices dropping and airline tickets soaring, driving remained the most preferred method of travel for the holiday.  In fact, almost 90% of Thanksgiving travelers decide to take a road trip on turkey day, making the total number of people on the road close to 45 million!  As an added bonus, New Orleans ranked as the 6th most popular Thanksgiving travel destination last year.

Besides the sheer number of traffic and vehicles out on the road, accidents can also be attributed to other factors such as making long distance trips, driving late at night, simply trying to navigate unfamiliar roads or conditions, and drunk or impaired drivers.  While most people would think that New Years Eve has the most alcohol related accidents, it is actually Thanksgiving that unfortunately has the largest number of drunk driving fatalities.   This is likely due to the number of family gatherings during this time and people returning home to visit with friends.

Helpful Tips and Recommendations for Thanksgiving Travel

The holidays should be a special time for you to celebrate with your loved ones.  While we here at the Law Offices of Tommy J. Badeaux hope that you have a very enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend, we encourage you to celebrate safely and responsibly.  This includes your travels to and from your destination.


What can you do to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident?  Here are a few safety tips and precautions for you to consider ensuring that your driver and vehicle is in the best possible shape for your holiday getaways:

    • Check the condition of your car battery.  You don’t want to be stranded out on the road in lowered temperatures due to a dead battery.

    • Check the condition of your tires to make sure they are not worn and suitable for long distance travel in any weather conditions. Check air pressure.

    • Pack an emergency kit and jumper cables in your car.  While we hope you won’t need it, it is better to be safe and prepared than sorry.

    • If possible, have your vehicle inspected by your trusted repair shop to ensure that everything in your vehicle is working properly.

    • Make sure that you have a full tank of gas before your trip.

    • Check your windshield wipers and also your wiper fluid just in case of rain or hail during the trip.

    • Clean your vehicles headlights, taillights, signal lights, and windows so that they are clear and visible to yourself and others.

    • Always wear your seatbelt.  If you are involved in a crash, this greatly affects your chances of surviving.

    • Observe the speed limits, slow down when needed due to inclement weather, and be aware of your surroundings.  Travel can get a little chaotic this time of year and the holidays often make people rush more than usual.

    • Be mindful of other drivers and avoid any distractions such as cell phones.

    • If you are taking a long road trip, make sure you are well rested, make frequent stops, and rotate drivers if necessary.

    • DO NOT drive drunk or impaired and designate a driver who won’t drink.  Yes, the holidays are a time to get together and celebrate, but please celebrate responsibly.  We don’t need you contributing to what’s already the worst day of the year for drunk driving accidents.

We know this list may be a little lengthy, but it covers all the bases for you and your family to enjoy safe travels during your Thanksgiving trip.  Even though you take all precautions and drive carefully, we are aware that incidents can still happen.  My office hopes that you have a very safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving, but if you are indeed involved in a car crash and/or injured due to the fault of another during this holiday season, #BetterCallBadeaux at (504)323-4777 to speak to me about your case!


This article was written and intended for information purposes only.  It is NOT to be considered legal or professional advice regarding injuries or accidents.  Please personally contact Tommy J. Badeaux for any legal assistance you may need.  You may reach him by phone, email, or using the online contact form on the homepage.





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