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Posted On November 12, 2020

Blackout Wednesday: Thanksgiving Drunk Driving Crashes

The night before Thanksgiving is referred to as “Blackout Wednesday” because drunk driving rates spike to such high numbers.

Thanksgiving Drunk Driving

Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest holidays for American motorists due to a rise in drunk drivers behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2013 and 2017 over 800 people died in drunk driving accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Thanksgiving Eve has become a big party night with bars filled to capacity. Drunk driving rates are so high, the night before Thanksgiving is now known as “Blackout Wednesday.” The term refers to “blacking out” from excessive alcohol consumption. 

Law enforcement agencies around the country consider Thanksgiving Eve, “Blackout Wednesday,” the official start date of drunk driving season, which runs through the end of New Year’s. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, an average of 45 drunk driving fatalities occur every day. To avoid drunk driving injuries and deaths during Thanksgiving, police officers urge drivers to follow important safety tips:

  • Do not drink and drive
  • Designate a non-drinking driver, if alcohol is consumed
  • Give car keys to a designated driver, prior to consuming alcohol
  • Stay buckled up in the car
  • Drive defensively
  • Stay alert for drunk drivers on the road

Accident lawyers commonly see injuries caused by drunk drivers who are speeding, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, ignoring traffic signals, and falling asleep behind the wheel. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to report drunk drivers to law enforcement to prevent injuries and deaths.

Every Thanksgiving, Indiana accident lawyers see a spike in drunk driving accidents that cause serious injuries and deaths for thousands of motorists and pedestrians. Since the Thanksgiving holiday provides an extended four-day weekend, millions of Americans take the opportunity to get away. Thousands of families take off on road trips to visit fun-filled destinations, relatives, and friends. During Thanksgiving, many people choose to travel by car because of cheaper costs, less stressful preparation, and more relaxing travel.

AAA estimates that approximately 51 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving, and 90 percent will travel by automobile. Beginning on Blackout Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, NHTSA plans to run a social media campaign that focuses on the dangers of drinking and driving. The campaign will urge drivers who choose to drink during Thanksgiving festivities to follow safe driving tips by appointing a designated driver or using public transportation.

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