More than 43 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from their home over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. According to CNN, close to 40 million of those travelers will be driving to their destination. With all of those people on our roadways, we can expect a significant increase in the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 430 people will die and another 46,000 will be injured in traffic accidents over the long holiday weekend.
“NSC issues fatality estimates for major holiday periods to draw attention to the need for drivers to exercise safe driving practices,” said John Ulczycki with the NSC.
Our West Palm Beach accident lawyers understand that the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday will be the holiday’s busiest overall travel day. During this time, more than 35 percent of people are expected to travel. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the second worse, with about 33 percent of people planning to head home that day.
Those who are driving to their destination this year might find a little economic relief in gas prices, which are at their lowest levels since 2010, according to Doney. AAA is expecting prices to stay under $3 a gallon in most states. The average national price of gas is currently $3.21 per gallon, 14 cents cheaper than it was a month ago and 20 cents lower than this time last year.
But Florida drivers beware. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is increasing its presence over the long five-day holiday period. Troopers will be on the lookout for drivers who are tailgating, speeding, driving under the influence, driving aggressively or engaged in any other dangerous driving habit.
“We’re focused on looking for impaired drivers, aggressive drivers, and always safety belt violations, unlawful speed,” said FHP Trooper Andrew Close.
Troopers will patrol the state’s high-volume roadways during the five-day period. Auxiliary and reserve troopers will volunteer to augment the effort.
They’ll also be looking for motorists who aren’t buckled up. Officials estimate that about 160 lives may be saved this holiday weekend by wearing a seat belt. They also believe that another 110 lives could be saved if everyone were to buckle up.
According to the FHP, in 2011, 30 people died on Florida roads during the holiday weekend. Many victims were not wearing seat belts and alcohol was to blame for many of those accidents.
The Florida Highway Patrol reminds everyone that if they need assistance while driving this holiday season, to please dial *FHP (*347) on your cellular telephone.
Before you head out, make sure you check your vehicle to ensure it’s running properly, get a good night’s rest and review your driving skills. It’s going to be busy out there. Make sure you’re ready for anything and everything. Here’s to wishing you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
If you or someone in your family has been injured, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.