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Report: Auto Accidents Spike During Thanksgiving and Black Friday

by  on  Accident Attorney

According to insurance industry statistics and data from the National Safety Council, auto accident rates increase significantly over the Thanksgiving holiday, which runs from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after. As Time.com reported a few years ago:

“There are 34% more car accidents on Black Friday, 25% more accidents on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and 20% more accidents on Thanksgiving Day compared to the two weeks before and after [the holiday.”

These statistics are supported by data the National Safety Council released last year, which indicated that “[a]s many as 421 people may be killed and another 48,500 may be seriously injured in car crashes during the Thanksgiving Day holiday.” This represents a significant increase in serious and fatal accidents over “normal” driving days and a seven percent increase in auto accident fatalities compared to 2016.

Why Do Auto Accidents Increase During the Thanksgiving Holiday?

Why do auto accidents increase during the Thanksgiving holiday, including Black Friday? Traffic congestion is undoubtedly a major factor. From bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway to overcrowded parking lots, more cars, trucks and SUVs mean more potential for collisions.

But, traffic isn’t the only factor. Four of the leading causes of auto accidents throughout the year are especially prevalent during Thanksgiving and Black Friday travel:

  • Distracted Driving – From talking to family members to downloading coupons for Black Friday deals, all types of cell phone use present dangerous driving distractions. Interacting with passengers, following GPS directions and other in-car distractions can lead to serious accidents as well.
  • Fatigued Driving – Driving long hours, driving after a long plane ride and getting up early (or staying up late) to be there when a store opens on Black Friday are all factors that can lead to driver fatigue. Studies have shown driver fatigue to be extremely dangerous, in some cases causing impairment on par with alcohol intoxication.
  • Drunk Driving – Speaking of alcohol intoxication, drunk driving is a very real concern during the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the remainder of the holiday season. Celebrating the season, lamenting the year that could have been and other thoughts and emotions are unfortunately all reasons why drunk driving accidents are prevalent during November and December.
  • Aggressive Driving – Sitting in traffic isn’t fun. In fact, it is frustrating, and it can feel unbearable when you have somewhere you want to be. But, aggressive driving is dangerous driving, and speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic and darting around crowded parking lots are all mistakes that can have drastic consequences.

The Thanksgiving holiday also comes right at the start of the worst weather months in Denver and the surrounding areas. Slick and slushy roads require additional attentiveness and care, and the risks of distracted, drowsy, drunk and aggressive driving increase when there is snow or ice on the ground.

Levine Law | Denver Auto Accident Lawyers

Levine Law is a team of highly-experienced auto accident lawyers who represent collision victims in Denver and the surrounding areas. If you have been injured and would like to speak with an attorney, we invite you to call 303-333-8000 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.