The week of Thanksgiving is always the busiest week on the roads each year. But this year is expected to be busier than most for a number of reasons: Gas prices, while still high, have moderated, families are determined to get together after two years of holiday plans interrupted by COVID, and flying is an expensive mess.
The Thanksgiving Travel Survey 2022 projects nearly half of all adults — some 112 million motorists — plan to travel for Thanksgiving.
The best Thanksgiving departure dates are Monday, November 21, Tuesday, November 22, and Thursday, November 24 (yes, Thanksgiving Day). Our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral note the heaviest days for road travel are typically Wednesday and Friday to Sunday.
Here are the steps you can take to reduce your accident risks:
- Have your vehicle serviced. Dangerous tires are an epidemic in Florida because of the blistering asphalt. Having a complete service done will help you avoid a breakdown that can ruin holiday plans and put you at increased risk.
- Plan your trip. Travel outside peak times – Wednesday to Sunday not counting Thanksgiving Day, which is actually a safer time to travel. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Avoid night driving: Whenever possible, avoid driving in the dark. Darkness always increases collisions risks, but those risks are even higher in the weeks after the time change brings early darkness.
- Avoid distraction: We all know the risks of cell phones. But too often we overlook the risks of driving with a car full of people. Accident risks increase exponentially with each additional passenger. Focus on the road. Avoid eating, drinking or other common forms of distraction.
- Be patient: Expect delays. Traffic will be heavy and, especially in South Florida where we are still dealing with the aftermaths of two hurricanes, delays may be unavoidable. Allowing plenty of time to reach your destination, and committing to a flexible schedule, can reduce the risks associated with aggressive driving, including speeding and tailgating.
- Destination safety: Another overlooked risk involves backover accidents. Victims are often children playing at family gatherings where large numbers of vehicles are parked. Have a plan. Make sure children have a place to plan well away from parked vehicles. Always check around your vehicle before backing.
Southwest Florida has a long way to go to recover from Hurricane Ian. Our personal injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral are proud of how the community has come together to overcome the worst storm most of us have ever faced. By taking the time to commit to a safe Thanksgiving travel plan, we hope your gathering is a joyous occasion with friends and family and a great start to the holiday season.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.