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Posted on 11-22-2015

Thanksgiving- The Most Dangerous Driving Holiday

If you are like most Americans you are probably already mentally preparing yourself for an all day festival of catching up with friends and family, eating too much, and watching 10 hours of football on Thursday. Thanksgiving truly is an American holiday that helps us to remember what is important in life beyond the 9-to-5 daily grind. Chances are you will likely be driving to a destination to spend time with your loved ones. Like most major U.S. holidays, time away from work and an increased in the "holiday spirit" usually leads to an increased congestion on the roadways. Coupled with lower gas prices, it is safe to assume that this year will see an inordinate amount of extra cars on the road before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for everyone on the road, this means more accidents, more injuries, and in many cases, more deaths. While many people believe that New Year's Eve is the most dangerous driving holiday, it is not. The number of fatalities associated with Thanksgiving driving is actually the highest out of all major U.S. holidays. (For those of you interested, the top 5 holidays associated with fatalities due to impaired driving are #5 Christmas, #4 Memorial Day, #3 Independence Day, #2 Labor Day, and #1 Thanksgiving!)

The reason behind the increased number of auto accidents due to Thanksgiving is more than just a "volume game." Yes, there will be more vehicles on the road. But there will also be a lot of impaired driving, late night driving, and navigating unfamilar roads. After all, how many of us are working Wednesday and then driving that evening to get to our destination? Chances are its about all of us. If it can be avoided, I would recommend leaving Tuesday night and skipping work Wednesday (provided you don't get fired!), or leaving in the wee hours on Thursday morning. After all, you will get to spend another night in your own comfortable bed. As someone that spends a lot of time traveling on the day of Thanksgiving, the roads are usually wide open.

The Red Cross recently put together a list of recommendations to help ease Thanksgiving travel and to hopefully reduce the likelihood of there being car emergencies. Here is their list:

1. Inspect your vehicle before you leave - make sure it is in good working order.

2. Refill all fluids- fuel, windshield washer fluid, engine oil if low.

3. Designate a safe driver - Not even one drink should be allowed. After all, police will be cracking down.

4. Get extra rest - Take an extra hour nap to be extra alert. Leaving the morning of should eliminate this problem.

5. Obey the rules of the road - Slow down in work zones, designate a texter, and observe posted speed limits.

6. Give yourself time - Allow for delays due to congestion. Take frequent breaks and don't let road rage get the best of you. We are all in this together!

7. Use headlights - It makes it easier for you to see and for others to see you.

So while you sit at your desk reading this blog post and wishing you were hundreds of miles away eating turkey and wearing pants with an expandable waist line, just remember, we are all in this together. Please, slow down, give yourself time, and make good decisions.

For the less fortunate who are injured as a result of a Baltimore auto accident on Thanksgiving and require our services for headaches, neck pain, and back pain, Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic will be happy to help rehab you from your auto accident injuries following Thanksgiving. Please call (443) 842-5500 to schedule an appointment. Happy Holidays!

Dr. Gulitz

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