People all across Alabama are preparing for Thanksgiving today, whether this means getting the last minute groceries, picking up the pies or packing up the car to hit the road. Today is predicted to be the most heavily congested day across the roadways in Alabama this week. Unfortunately, this large increase in motor vehicle traffic also means that there is usually a large concentration of car accidents this week.
According to the director of the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety, "Whenever traffic volume goes up, crashes generally go up as well. This isn't really rocket science here: You have a lot of people on the roads over Thanksgiving, so the crashes are naturally going to get worse."
From 2005-2010 the national average for motor vehicle fatalities was 798 during the week of Thanksgiving. In Alabama, there is usually a 25 percent increase in the rate of Interstate wrecks this week. A large source of this problem is drunk driving. It is not unusual for families to celebrate the holiday season with an adult beverage. Unfortunately, drunk drivers cause about 40 percent of the accidents that occur during Thanksgiving.
While an individual seriously injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver can stand to financially recoup, drivers may protect themselves more adequately from drunk drivers on the road by avoid driving during the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. which appears to have the densest concentration of accidents.
Hopefully, families in Huntsville and across Alabama will have an enjoyable and safe holiday. Using sound judgment and staying alert will aid in making sure everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.
Source: USA Today, "Thanksgiving week one of the deadliest on the highway," Larry Copeland, Nov. 18, 2012