The car accident lawyers and motor vehicle accident lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman urge everyone on the road this Thanksgiving holiday to exercise caution when behind the wheel, obey the speed limit and make plans to have a designated driver when drinking alcohol.

AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year.


The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.

While unfortunate, it’s not surprising that increased drivers on the road leads to more car accidents and injuries. In fact, there are publications that report death rates spike over the Thanksgiving holiday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is again warning drivers to stay safe on Thanksgiving. And for good reason — no holiday leads to more deadly accidents.

According to the most recent data available from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 764 crashes involving a fatality during Thanksgiving 2012 and nearly 50,000 non-fatal car accidents, too. (About 400 of them involved motorists.) In comparison, there were 654 crashes involving a fatality during Christmas that year. The American Red Cross recently published safety and travel tips to help during the Thanksgiving holiday, including the following:

  • Make sure your car is in good condition for a road trip.
  • Pack an emergency preparedness kit and supplies in the trunk.
  • Share travel plans with a family member or friend.
  • Check the weather along your route and plan for travel around any storms that may be coming.
  • Be well rested and alert.
  • Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drive impaired.
  • Follow the rules of the road and use caution in work zones.
  • Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
  • If you have car trouble, pull of the road as far as possible.

The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.