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This week, millions of people in the U.S. will be driving for the Thanksgiving holiday. And whether they drive across the state or across the country, road safety can be a major concern.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous times in terms of road safety. Every year, we see a spike in the number of people hurt or killed in accidents on and around Thanksgiving – why is this? There are at least a few primary factors when it comes to the increase in car crashes during this time of year.

Drunk drivers

Holidays often go hand-in-hand with drinking, whether people are drinking to celebrate or cope with the stress of the season. There are also people going out to see friends, coming home from college and taking advantage of a long weekend, which often means having at least a couple drinks.

As such, there is an increase in drunk drivers. And the threat isn’t restricted to the day of Thanksgiving, either. Reports note that drunk driving spikes the night before Thanksgiving and all through the weekend.

Distracted drivers

People driving during the holidays can be in unfamiliar places, stressed about family gatherings and trying to take care of people visiting from out of town. They can be entering destinations into their GPS, trying to send messages on their phone and entertaining their passengers.

These are all types of distractions that take a driver’s focus, hands and eyes off the task of driving safely, making an accident more likely.

Drowsy drivers

It’s not just turkey that makes people tired during the holidays; it’s also late nights, long drives and early mornings that people often contend with on Thanksgiving.

This means drivers may be tired behind the wheel. Some may even fall asleep. When drivers are drowsy, they increase their risk of losing control of their vehicle and crashing.

We hope that every reader is able to avoid a serious car accident this holiday and reach their destinations safely. While crashes may still happen, we can all reduce our risk by finding sober rides home, staying focused behind the wheel and getting plenty of rest before driving.