The Safest (And Most Dangerous) Days To Travel During Thanksgiving Week

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Hannah DeWitt
Updated on Apr 27, 2022 · 3 min read
As Thanksgiving approaches, people will be sorting out their
holiday plans
and deciding whether to go home to celebrate. It’s a good time to visit loved ones, but traveling around Thanksgiving can be perilous.
According to a
study, the days around Thanksgiving see a spike in fatal
car crashes
every year. With thousands of people traveling at the same time, crashes are bound to increase. However, some days are more dangerous to drive on than others.
Monday is the safest day to drive to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Which days are the safest to drive on?

Out of all the days during Thanksgiving week, Monday is the safest to drive on. Many people choose to travel on Thanksgiving or the night before due to their work schedules. However, with
remote working
on the rise, if you can, it’s a good idea to get to your destination early rather than traveling on more crash-prone days.
Tuesday and Wednesday are also relatively safe days to drive. If you’re staying with family for the holiday, getting there a few days early will help you steer clear of the more fatal driving days.

Which days are the most dangerous to drive on?

The most dangerous day to drive on during Thanksgiving week is Thanksgiving Day itself. The highest number of fatal crashes occur from 6-7 p.m. on Thanksgiving, likely when many people are done with dinner and leave their functions. That hour averages 94 crashes nationwide.
However, this peak isn’t the only one to look out for. Another reason Thanksgiving Day is the most dangerous day of the week to drive on has to do with what happens the night before. The night before Thanksgiving, or “Thanksgiving Eve,” is considered America’s most popular bar night.
With all the people out drinking, Wednesday night sees increased rates of
drunk driving
, causing a spike in crashes early Thursday morning from 1-3 a.m. This spike is only slightly lower than the highest peak at 6 p.m., so it’s a close second for deadliness.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving follows a similar pattern, with high crash spikes at 2-3 a.m. and 6-7 p.m. The crash numbers are very close to those on Thanksgiving Day.

How to make your Thanksgiving drives safer

If you have to drive long distances for your gathering, scheduling your drives for Monday and the following Sunday could be a worthwhile step. Even if you’re only driving short distances, choosing to leave later than 7 p.m. or before 6 p.m. might be something to consider.
If you’ll be going out on Wednesday or Friday, make sure to take proper precautions and think about going home before 1 a.m. to avoid those peak crash times.
If you have questions regarding your car insurance policy and how it can help protect you after a crash, ask the friendly experts at
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