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Stay Safe During Thanksgiving Travels

Current projections for holiday travel suggest that 41.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles by car this Thanksgiving holiday. Holiday travelers should expect to face unusually crowded streets and potentially poor weather. While we expect clear skies in Atlanta this weekend, many across the country will be facing rain, snow and heavy winds. In order to make Thanksgiving a safe and enjoyable time, you should take steps to avoid the hazards that derail so many trips this time of year. If you are prepared and remain cautious, you increase your chances of avoiding a car accident.

For many, holiday celebrations include the consumption of alcohol. This is a large contributor to the increase in deadly accidents that occur around holidays. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 42 percent of deadly Thanksgiving crashes involved drinking and driving. Drunk drivers typically account for roughly one-third of deadly crashes. An increase in drinking around the holidays has a natural spillover effect into deadly car wrecks. 

Holidays may also force drivers to confront unsafe driving conditions. Distractions, including dealing with children, pets and navigation devices may be more common during the holidays than during normal driving. Many people experience stress associated with holidays that can lead to shorter tempers and aggressive driving behaviors they would normally avoid. Stress and impatience are not conducive to safe driving.

With the holiday season upon us, it is important to remember to stay calm, plan ahead and maintain your focus on safe driving. An accident is sure to ruin you holidays.

Source: United States Department of Transportation, "Recipe for safe Thanksgiving travel: patience, preparation," by Todd Solomon, November 2014

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