Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around food and family time. As many Americans typically have the day before Thanksgiving off, the Wednesday before the holiday has quickly become everyone’s favorite drinking night. Given the moniker Blackout Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving is notoriously known as one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, causing a significant increase in DUIs and drunk driving fatalities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 800 fatalities due to vehicle crashes alone on Blackout Wednesday from 2013 to 2017. Today, we discuss the dangers of Blackout Wednesday and how to stay safe on Thanksgiving weekend.
What Happens on Blackout Wednesday?
As many people have the day before Thanksgiving off, they spend it drinking with friends and family members. Bars and restaurants take advantage of this time offering drink specials as they know people will be coming into town to visit relatives and friends. In some areas, especially college towns, bars see more business on this day than on New Year’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day.
While awareness has been raised about the dangers of Blackout Wednesday, people still spend time celebrating. Add that to increased traffic on the road and inclement weather, and the highway becomes a dangerous place on Thanksgiving weekend. It is important to take precautions around this time – especially if driving at night or commuting a long distance.
Tips on How to Stay Safe on the Road During Thanksgiving Weekend
If you do have to travel by car this Thanksgiving holiday, consider these following tips. Encourage your friends and family members to do the same.
- Do not drink and drive
- Make sure your car is in good working order
- Do not drive fatigued or ill
- Check the road conditions before driving
- Observe the speed limit
- Avoid distractions, such as cell phones
- Do not follow other cars too closely
- Pull off the road when experiencing car trouble
- Wear a seatbelt
- Report any drunk driving or other suspicious activity
- Be mindful of other motorists, especially motorcyclists
You can also encourage your friends and family members to use ride-sharing apps or taxis. Perhaps when people RSVP to your Thanksgiving dinner, you put a note in reminding them to drive responsibly. You could also request guests sleep over if they have had too much to drink.
Remember that getting a DUI will cost you 100 times more than paying for a ride-sharing app or tax to get home. Drinking and driving is unacceptable and with so many options available, there is no reason why you cannot have a friend drive you home or call an Uber or Lyft.
Injured in a Car Accident with a Drunk Driver?
Accidents happen, especially if one of the driver’s was impaired to due to drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident due to a drunk drive, you should seek immediate medical attention. Even if it appears that your injuries are minor, medical records will serve as evidence should you pursue a personal injury claim. Next, you will need to document what happened during the accident. If you can get witness testimonials, that is very helpful. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you determine what kind of evidence is necessary to build your case. This may include medical records, doctor’s notes, hospital bills, a police report, and/or photographs of the injuries sustained.
The next step is to consult with your lawyer and negotiate a settlement with the drunk driver or the driver’s insurance company. Hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is the best step towards reaching a favorable settlement.
If you or your loved one sustained an injury in a car accident due to a drunk or impaired driver, contact our office online or call us at (916) 778-3228 to schedule a consultation.