Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the busiest travel weekend of the year. In 2019, there were 55.3 million Thanksgiving travelers in the United States, and even in 2020, when people were traveling less, there were still 50.6 million travelers, according to Statista. With COVID vaccines now available and many travel restrictions lifted, the number of travelers may bounce back up this year – meaning more people on the roads. Driving is by far the most common mode of holiday travel; in 2019, 49.9 million traveled by car, while 47.8 million did in 2020 (AAA Newsroom). More drivers can often lead to more crashes, sometimes tragic ones.
To reduce your chance of being in a crash this Thanksgiving, make sure to follow these holiday travel safety tips:
- Avoid driving at peak times. In 2019, Google Maps identified 3 pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as the worst time to leave for your destination, having the most traffic. 3 pm on the Sunday after Thanksgiving was the worst time to drive back home.
- Plan alternate routes to avoid traffic. Traveling on roads with less traffic could reduce the chance of a crash.
- Don’t drive distracted. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of crashes.
- Stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks and at intersections. Also stop and look for pedestrians and bicyclists before turning.
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit. The faster you’re driving, the more deadly a crash can be.
- Drive sober.
For more Thanksgiving travel tips and this year’s Thanksgiving travel forecast, visit AAA.