For most people, Thanksgiving is the season to travel and reunite with loved ones. In 2019, AAA estimated that around 49.3 million travelers would hit the road during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Typically, most people travel from Wednesday evening to Sunday evening.
With the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Thanksgiving period might be a bit different. Celebrations will be less this year as travelers strive to comply with the coronavirus guidelines. You may choose to limit your celebration to include only household members and take all recommended CDC measures to prevent the virus spread. Many who may not have the opportunity to travel and reunite with loved ones include:
- People who were recently diagnosed with coronavirus.
- Those with symptoms of COVID-19.
- Persons awaiting their COVID-19 test results.
- People who were in contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- Those with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
With the strict COVID-19 guidelines, most people may choose to travel less this Thanksgiving but this doesn’t mean that car accidents will be absent this holiday season. In fact, according to the Texas Transportation Commission (TxDOT), more drivers are taking advantage of the open roads during the COVID-19 pandemic and reckless conduct behind the wheel has led to an increase in speed-related crashes.
While you don’t necessarily have to cancel your Thanksgiving travel plans, if you choose to travel, the CDC recommends the following health guidelines:
- Wear a face mask at all times, especially when traveling alongside other people.
- Encourage your travel companions to avoid shouting or singing, especially while not wearing a mask.
- Encourage everyone to wash their hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Clean and disinfect places that are touched often, including car door handles.
Car accidents during Thanksgiving in Corpus Christi
In general, according to the Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts, car accidents are common on Texas roadways. In 2019, the fatality rate on Texas roadways was 1.26 deaths per one hundred vehicle miles traveled. Statistics further reveal that 3,610 people died in car accidents in Texas in 2019. Another 12,897 people suffered severe injuries due to car accidents. The situation gets worse during Thanksgiving when there are more travelers on the roadways.
In addition to road congestion due to holiday travel, an increase in alcohol consumption during Thanksgiving is a prevalent contributor to the occurrence of car accidents. According to NSC data, the percentage of traffic fatalities resulting from drunk driving are higher over Thanksgiving compared to other times of the year. In particular, Thanksgiving Eve, also known as “Drinksgiving,” is the biggest drinking day of the year as people have no work obligations, and many hit the local bars with family and friends.
NSC data reveals that the percentage of car accidents related to alcohol is highest during the Thanksgiving period compared to other times of the year. This trend has persisted over many years. For instance, in 2017, 35% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S involved drivers whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was more than the allowable 0.08%. In 2017, 29% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. were due to intoxication.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Corpus Christi Police Department are always on the lookout for drunk drivers. Their advice to the people of Corpus Christi is to plan for a ride home instead of driving while intoxicated.
Contact an experienced car accident attorney in Corpus Christi
Whether you travel to visit family or limit your festivities to household members this year, The Burkett Law Firm wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season. If you or a loved one suffers injuries due to a drunk or reckless driver this Thanksgiving season, remember to seek the legal help of an experienced Corpus Christi car accident lawyer who can assist you in filing a claim for full compensation.