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Thanksgiving = Tired, Drunk, and Distracted Drivers on Seattle Roads

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 8, 2018

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to gather around with family we haven’t seen in a while, carve a turkey, overindulge on pumpkin pie, and have a wonderful time amongst loved ones. But it’s also a common time to get into a car accident in Seattle, turning a festive holiday into a fatal one.

Thanksgiving produces the perfect ingredients for a car-crash recipe: drunk drivers, too many cars on the road, and people driving at nighttime on unfamiliar roads. With restless kids in the backseat and impaired visibility on the roads, it takes seconds for a happy occasion to turn into a devastating one.

At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we want to make sure that you have a safe and happy holiday with your loved ones, and we’ve put together a list of basic safety tips for you to follow in order to enjoy this holiday and ensure that it’s a joyful one you can reminisce about for many years to come.

Why Are Car Crashes Common on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving, like other major holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Labor Day, has the roads packed to capacity. People from all over the country are traveling long miles to visit their families and enjoy the season’s festivities. This increase in traffic will translate to an increase in car accidents.

But the one major culprit behind the holiday car crashes is completely preventable. What is it? Drunk driving, which has no place in the age of Uber and Lyft! Another problem is that drivers are navigating on unfamiliar roads and often late at night, which adds to the odds of a dangerous car crash.

The best thing to do before setting out on the road is to plan for your family event accordingly. Don’t leave too late and run red lights to try to make it to dinner on time. Check up on the weather conditions and traffic to give yourself plenty of time to get there. In order to keep you safe this Thanksgiving, here are some driving tips:

  • Rest up. Many accidents occur due to fatigued driving. If you take a nap before leaving, you have a better chance of being alert.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready to go. Perform basic light checks and ensure that everything is in working order.
  • Top off your gas so that you’re not speeding to get to a gas station.
  • Make sure there is a designated driver who will not be drinking at all during dinner.
  • Get rid of all distractions. Resist the temptation to fiddle with your phone. Nominate another person in the car to answer messages and find the perfect Thanksgiving music on Spotify.
  • Travel at the speed limit. Don’t drive recklessly to avoid being later. It’s better to be late and in one piece than to end up in a wreck.
  • Figure out your route. If you’re going somewhere unfamiliar, do not spend your mental energy fidgeting with your navigation system while driving. Plan out your route in advance so you have a general idea of where to go.
  • Keep the kids entertained. If you know your kids will get restless on a long drive and start being a distraction to you, makes sure they have proper entertainment before you leave.
  • Mentally relax. It sounds silly, but it’s important to be in a clear state of mind when driving. If you’re stressed out, distracted, or agitated in any way, you might make decisions that you normally wouldn’t.

Thanksgiving should be a time for family. A time to be thankful for all of life’s blessings. But it’s a time when we must be cautious on the road as well. Thanksgiving can be a tough day for car travel. It’s heavy on traffic, you have impaired visibility with the darkening sky, and there is a higher chance of encountering drunk drivers on the road.

Unfortunately, sometimes no matter how careful you are, you can’t avoid a car accident. If you or someone you love is seriously injured on the road, give our Seattle car accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., a call at (888) 228-3860 to discuss your case.

Please enjoy this Thanksgiving and drive safely!

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