Thanksgiving is right around the corner – with Black Friday fast on its heels. Each year when this holiday rolls around, many people travel to see family or, in the case of Florida, to vacation at world-renowned attractions. This means that airports become more crowded, and highways do, too, making for congested roads and sometimes dangerous conditions.
The truth of the matter is that the days around Thanksgiving are some of the most dangerous of the year in Florida. There are many factors that contribute to this which are important to understand. Additionally, it’s vital to know what you should do if you’re involved in a Florida car accident this Thanksgiving and what your options are if you are injured.
Reasons For More Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the night before Thanksgiving sees a 25 percent increase in car accidents. On Thanksgiving Day, that goes to a 20 percent increase, and then finally ends on Black Friday with a 34 percent increase in accidents over other days of the year.
As you can see, it’s simply a dangerous time to be on the roads – but why is that? There are several reasons why this is the case.
The most common causes of car accidents around Thanksgiving include:
In Florida, you don’t have to worry about snow or ice, but you do have to worry about the amount of traffic on the road. The simple fact that more people are traveling – thus, more congested roads – results in an increased risk of accidents.
Drinking and Driving
On Thanksgiving, people get together with friends and family. This can lead to getting behind a wheel of a car after drinking too much, leading to car accidents involving impairment from alcohol consumption.
People often feel they have to get to places urgently around the holidays. Whether it’s the amusement park, grandma’s house or a great Black Friday sale, distraction from being in a hurry can lead to accidents.
Accidents Involving Pedestrians
The shoppers come out in full force for events on Black Friday. This makes parking lot accidents involving pedestrians quite common in the days surrounding Thanksgiving.
How to Avoid Car Accidents Around Thanksgiving
If you’re going to be on the Florida roads this Thanksgiving, there are some reasonable precautions you can take to help keep you accident-free. A few tips you can use to drive safely include:
- Not drinking and driving – Alcohol, even in small amounts, can impair your ability to drive safely. It can reduce your vision and reaction time, impair your judgment and concentration, too. That’s why it’s always a good idea to make a plan if you plan to drink over the holiday. Have a designated driver, or use a driving service to get there and bring you home.
- Wear your seatbelt – Every time you get in the car, you should be wearing a seatbelt. That’s not only because it’s required by Florida law, but also because it can help to save your life if you’re involved in a serious accident.
- Drive the speed limit – When you’re driving on major roads, it can be easy to speed, but you should try to refrain from doing so. Speeding can lead to an increased risk of being involved in an accident – and you don’t want to get pulled over for speeding, either!
- Check your tire pressure – This may sound basic, but it’s a good rule of thumb when you’re going to be on the road. You should always check to make sure your tires are in good condition and the pressure is where it needs to be. That’s because your tires are your car’s first line of defense on the road, allowing you to maneuver and stay safe.
What If You’re In an Accident?
If you’re involved in an accident this Thanksgiving, you should follow some simple steps to preserve your right to bring a lawsuit in the future, if you need.
This goes especially if the accident was the result of another person’s negligence.
If you are injured in an accident, you may not be able to take every step suggested, but you should at the very least call the police to the scene and get medical help for yourself. If you are able, you should get the other driver’s insurance information and the information of any witnesses to the accident. Take pictures of the scene, too.
Even if you don’t think you’re badly injured, still make sure to get checked by a doctor. If your injuries keep you from working, or you lose wages or have an injury that gravely impacts your life, then contact an attorney right away.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.