autoevolution

Study Finds Thanksgiving Is the Worst Holiday to Be on the Road

Everybody knows that it is more dangerous to be out on the road on some days rather than others. Or, at least, most of us have the feeling that everybody is aware that going out for a drive on the first day of the year, or the first day after a big holiday. is a bit risky because other people in traffic might have a hangover or still tipsy and not be aware of it. But what do statistics say?
Rescue service specialist receives training using jaws-of-life device on a Volvo that was dropped to simulate a crash 54 photos
U.S. road deaths at record highs in 2021U.S. road deaths at record highs in 2021U.S. road deaths at record highs in 2021Maserati Levante crashes into the underside of an overpassCar chaseMaserati Levante crashes into the underside of an overpassMaserati Levante crashes into the underside of an overpassMaserati Levante crashes into the underside of an overpassMaserati Levante crashes into the underside of an overpassMaserati Levante crashes into the underside of an overpassCar chaseThe result of an accident on a highway in WisconsinMercedes-AMG G 63Mercedes-AMG G 63Mercedes-AMG G 63Mercedes-AMG G 63Ford Bronco-Carrying Trailer hits underpass in Attalla, AlabamaFord Bronco-Carrying Trailer hits underpass in Attalla, AlabamaFord Bronco-Carrying Trailer hits underpass in Attalla, AlabamaFord Bronco-Carrying Trailer hits underpass in Attalla, AlabamaFord Bronco-Carrying Trailer hits underpass in Attalla, AlabamaFord Bronco-Carrying Trailer hits underpass in Attalla, AlabamaTesla Model S Plaid, Chevrolet S-10 crashTesla Model S Plaid, Chevrolet S-10 crashTesla Model S Plaid, Chevrolet S-10 crashTesla Model S Plaid, Chevrolet S-10 crashTesla Model S Plaid, Chevrolet S-10 crashHyundai Genesis Coupe crushed by a truckHyundai Genesis Coupe crushed by a truckHyundai Genesis Coupe crushed by a truckHyundai Genesis Coupe crushed by a truckHyundai Genesis Coupe crushed by a truckHyundai Genesis Coupe crushed by a truckCrashed 2019 Honda HR-VCrashed 2019 Honda HR-VCrashed 2019 Honda HR-VCrashed 2019 Honda HR-VCrashed 2019 Honda HR-VFord and GHSA Teen accident report 2021Ford and GHSA Teen accident report 2021Ford and GHSA Teen accident report 2021The risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingVolvo test driver falling asleep behind the wheel and woken up by the Driver Alert System. Test performed in controlled conditionsThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy drivingThe risks of drowsy driving
According to statistics from the NHTSA from the past five years, it is estimated that 10,732 people (about the seating capacity of Cameron basketball stadium at Duke University) in the U.S. were killed in car accidents during popular days off. While it is just statistics to everyone else, about 2,000 families in the U.S. have lost a loved member in a car accident.

This may seem harsh, but it might be the wake-up call that could save someone's life. If you do not want your family to mourn your premature loss, it is about time you drove safely, as most of those deaths happened because alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving were involved. Inexperienced drivers were also the cause of a startling number of crashes, as an analysis made by Zutobi discovered.

A passenger who has buckled up in the front seat has a reduced risk of a fatal injury by 45 percent, while the risk of a moderate to critical injury is reduced by 50 percent.

U\.S\. road deaths at record highs in 2021
Please remember that the speed is the same for every occupant of the vehicle and that buckling up in the back seat is the only way to prevent hitting the person in front of the occupant and breaking their neck. That is what happens when a passenger is projected into the seat in front of them.

We already knew that Labor Day is a dangerous time to be on the road, as it gets 38% more traffic deaths than regular days prior and just after it. Back in 2020, 530 people died in car accidents on Labor Day, and more than one-third of those involved a drunk driver, but just as many deaths were caused by speeding.

According to statistics made by people who know what they are doing, every 10 mph (16 kph) increase in speed doubles the risk of death in a crash. For example, if someone is driving at 80 mph (ca. 129 kph) instead of 60 mph (ca. 97 kph), the risk of a fatal crash caused by the person in question has increased four times from the level associated with a normal driver going the speed limit.

Ford and GHSA Teen accident report 2021
Do you know what other factors make a drive more dangerous for a specific demographic? Teen drivers are far more likely to die in a car accident if they have someone who is the same age as them (or similar) in their car.

With just one teen passenger, the risk of a fatal crash with a teen driver behind the wheel of that vehicle increases by 44 percent, and it quadruples if there are three or more teen passengers.

Remember, you have nothing to prove on public roads. If you are a better driver than your peers – go to a go-kart track and battle it out on equal terms without putting anyone's life at risk for a bet or anything like that.

You should also know that just 25 percent of all motor vehicle travel happens at night, according to the NHTSA, but almost half of all fatal car accidents happen after dark. Both poor visibility and fatigue play a role in these accidents, as few people who end up in a fatal crash were-well rested before leaving for a nighttime drive.

Volvo test driver falling asleep behind the wheel and woken up by the Driver Alert System\. Test performed in controlled conditions
It is important to note that it may be convenient to drive at night, but our bodies are not always prepared for this kind of thing, especially if you usually sleep during the night and travel during the day – changing your routine with a small nap before a drive may be the most dangerous thing you could do. Also, you are not alone on the road.

Plan your trips ahead so that at least you do not have to drive tired, and be sure to have a few potential places where you could stop along the way if you intend to drive during the night – especially for longer distances.

Please remember to take a 10-minute break every two hours, if not sooner, and do it by exiting your vehicle, walking around it, washing your face with cold water, and drinking fresh water. As you get older, you may need to take these breaks more often than you used to.

The result of an accident on a highway in Wisconsin
Now, with all the most dangerous behaviors described, it is time to reveal why Thanksgiving is the most dangerous holiday to be on the roads in the U.S. of A. Over the last five years, 2,414 people lost their lives during this holiday, and it is a game of numbers.

It is estimated that the Thanksgiving holiday period had about 53.4 million people (about twice the population of Texas) traveling last year, and most of them were on the road.

Since roads that are more congested also become more dangerous for their users, adding risk factors such as speeding, DUIs, and even teen drivers in the mix will make American roads more dangerous than any other weekend in the month of November.

Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows crashed vehicles.

press release
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories