Car accidents increase the week of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which means more drivers will be on the road returning from family holidays and heading to the nearest Target for a doorbuster deal on a new TV.

The increase in road activity brings with it an increase in auto accidents. Two years ago, Progressive Insurance released claims data back to 2010 comparing the two weeks before and the two weeks after Thanksgiving to the holiday week.

It found that:

  • Accidents increased 25% on Thanksgiving Eve
  • Accidents increased 20% on Thanksgiving
  • Accidents increased 34% on Black Friday

Accidents on Wednesday often involved a car striking an animal or object. The increase may be because Thanksgiving Eve is seen as the biggest drinking night of the year. Travelers visiting home go out to see old friends or spend time with family, since no one wants to cook a meal the day before Thanksgiving, and most Americans have the next day off work. While there is no data that proves these accidents are a result of drunk driving, this day is known for its alcohol consumption.

Most accidents on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were backing or parking-related. This indicates that shoppers are not being careful and paying attention in search of the best deals. A car backing up too quickly in a parking lot could strike another car, a shopping cart or a pedestrian walking into the store.

Knowing there is likely to be an increase in car accidents on the road this weekend, you can keep yourself and others safe by securing a designated driver if you’re going out in a group on Thanksgiving Eve. Take your time on the road the rest of the weekend: Check your mirrors, back up slowly and pay attention to your surroundings.

And if you’re concerned about other bargain-hunting drivers, try doing some of your Black Friday shopping online.