It’s typically one of the deadliest holidays of the year for travelers throughout the United States, but this year lower gas prices could make this Thanksgiving the worst travel day ever as nearly 47 million people are expected to hit the roadways and drive at least 50 miles from home.
According to AAA statistics, the average retail price of gasoline has fallen for 17 consecutive days, down by 15 cents per gallon and more than half of all U.S. gas stations offer gasoline for under $2 per gallon. These are the lowest gas prices reported since Thanksgiving 2008 and more people are expected to drive this year as a result, according to a report by the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Indeed, the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend brings out more travelers than any other holiday. Here in the Golden State, crashes have been on the rise since last year when there were 45 people who were killed in crashes on the holiday weekend. Those deaths were up 36 percent over the 2013 holiday. Sadly, about 40 percent were also because someone got behind the wheel drunk, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP managed to arrest some 1,000 people last year during the holiday weekend for DUI and they are expected to make significant arrests again this year. The CHP’s Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 29. The stepped up enforcement will target DUI drivers in an effort to help avoid more tragedies this year in California.
So how can you avoid becoming a statistics this year? First and foremost, wear a seat belt at all times and insist on passengers doing the same. More than half or 60 percent of all deaths in traffic accidents were by people who were not wearing a seat belt, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Never drive drunk by planning ahead to stay at a friend or relative’s home or having a designated driver or taxi take you home. Turn your cell hone off while you are behind the wheel and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
You can also find out road conditions by calling: 1-800-427-7623.
“Have a safe Thanksgiving this year,” said Attorney James Johnson. “Always plan to leave plenty of time to get to your destination so there is no temptation to speed, wear a seat belt and never drive drunk.”
If you are involved in a traffic accident over the Thanksgiving weekend and would like to speak with an attorney about a potential claim, call Johnson Attorneys Group at 800-235-6801 and ask to speak with an attorney. Our personal injury law firm is a proud supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
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