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Getting to Grandma's Safely


The holidays are upon us again, and we can all look forward to a lot of food, football, travel, shopping and...motor vehicle accidents. According to the best forecasts for Thanksgiving travel this year, 47 million people will leave their homes for the holiday, making it the biggest travel event since 2007. Low gas prices--a national average that is 65 cents less a gallon than last year--means that 42 million of those people, or 90% of them, will be traveling by motor vehicle.

With that many people planning to be on the road this week, it may be a good idea to try some crowdsourcing traffic and navigation apps. Google Maps and MapQuest are two navigation apps that are fairly standard, and provide maps and directions on your mobile device. Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app that connects you with other drivers in order to provide current information on traffic jams, accidents, road closures, etc., and also provides maps and directions for navigational assists. All three of these apps can be downloaded for free. The best course of action, however, may be to avoid the worst travel days altogether, which are Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after. Gridlock begins earlier than ever, on Tuesday afternoon rather than the previously traditional Wednesday at noon departure time.

In fact, not only is Thanksgiving the busiest travel time of the year, it is also the deadliest. According to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics, there were 764 fatal accidents over the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday and 50,000 non-fatal accidents; 40% of passengers killed during that holiday were involved in crashes with drunk drivers, and 60% were not wearing seat belts. Drinking over football and turkey adds to the high number of motor vehicle accidents that occur over the week of Thanksgiving; Thanksgiving actually has the highest number of drunk driving fatalities of any holiday--including New Year's Eve. Other factors contributing to the high number of motor vehicle fatalities are: nighttime driving; bad weather creating bad road conditions; people traveling on unfamiliar roads; and speeding to get to grandma's house on time.


To help minimize your chance of an accident this Thanksgiving holiday, follow these pointers:

Make sure your vehicle is in good working order; check all the fluids, the tire pressure, and start your trip with a full tank of gas;

Have a designated driver if going out for the night;

Be well-rested for a long trip; stay alert and stop when needed;

Avoid distractions such as cell phones, loud music, etc;

Above all: buckle up and slow down!


If you or a loved one become involved in a motor vehicle accident this holiday, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free consultation.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
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