In 2020, the National Safety Council estimated that about 485 people would die on U.S. roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday. Fatality rates are higher during Thanksgiving as more individuals drive. Driving a car has the highest fatality rate per mile when compared to other modes of transportation.
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Just this past year, there was a multi-car accident on South Florida’s Interstate 95, which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist when they collided with three cars while headed northbound. Florida is currently ranked the tenth most dangerous state to drive in during the holidays, contributing to 1.84 fatalities per 100,000 residents.
Avoid car accidents this Thanksgiving by following these tips:
Do Not Drive Impaired
Drunk driving contributes to an average of 35% of car accident fatalities each holiday. An individual should celebrate responsibly, and not get behind the wheel if they’ve been consuming drugs or alcohol. Party-goers may plan ahead and choose a designated driver or rideshare service in the case they become impaired and cannot operate a vehicle safely.
Consider A Daytime Celebration
According to Value Penguin, 61% of Thanksgiving driving fatalities occur at night. Impaired vision, due to decreased lighting, in combination with the potential for encounters with drunk drivers, make driving at night more precarious. If possible, an individual should opt for a celebration that occurs before the sun goes down.
Check Your Tires
The Florida Department for Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends that drivers should check their tires before hitting the road this Thanksgiving. Tires that are in optimal working condition are a driver’s first line of defense in a car accident. An individual should check tire pressure, tread depth, as well as, making sure a spare tire is readily available in case of a flat tire or blowout.
Wear A Seatbelt
A driver and each person in the vehicle should be buckled up. It is a Federal Law that all drivers, front-seat passengers, and any passengers under the age of eighteen, wear a safety belt or child restraint. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation seat belts are credited with saving an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.
Follow All Speed Limits
A study by the National Center for Health Research found that as speed limits increase, so do accident rates and fatalities. In fact, an increase from 55 miles per hour to 65 miles per hour resulted in a 3% increase in total accidents and a 24% increase in the likelihood that the driver or passenger would be fatally injured. Speed limits on roadways can change several times throughout a drive. Drivers should be aware of speed limits and continuously adjust their speed accordingly. It’s important to note that the speed limit in Florida will never be over 70 miles per hour.
Register or Update Emergency Contact Information
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides a free service to drivers, which allows law enforcement nationwide to contact a driver’s friends or family in the case of an emergency. An individual may register or update their information at services.flhsmv.gov/eci/.
Keep Emergency Numbers Handy
Florida Highway Patrol may be contacted to report dangerous or intoxicated drivers, a broken-down vehicle, or to request assistance at *FHP or *347. If a driver requires immediate emergency assistance, they should not hesitate to call 9-1-1.
We Wish You A Happy Thanksgiving
Our team at Panter, Panter & Sampedro hopes you keep these safety tips in mind as you enjoy a restful Thanksgiving holiday. Yet, if the unexpected does occur, our experienced car accident attorneys can work with you one-on-one to help you get the justice, recovery, and compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (305) 662-6178 for a free case review.