Year after year it is reported that Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday to drive with the greatest number of fatalities from accidents reported. Over forty-three million travelers set out to visit family by traveling an average distance of over two hundred miles. As travelers set out to join their family for the Thanksgiving holiday, the majority opt to travel by car. Emergency responders often see a spike in motor vehicle accident reports starting the day before Thanksgiving. Check out our travel safety tips below.

Besides the obvious fact that more people are on the roads during Thanksgiving, many different factors cause accidents amongst travelers. The top causes of MVA fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday were passengers without seat belts and drunk drivers. Over the years, there have been about 50,000 accidents reported during Thanksgiving travel each year, with over 700 resulting in a fatality. Traveling long distances while tired, night driving, speeding, and being unfamiliar with the roads have all been reported as reasons for this increase in accidents.

If you are planning to travel this Thanksgiving, please keep these important travel safety tips in mind.

  • Be sure to thoroughly check your vehicle before departure. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, wiper fluid, and your tire pressure is within the proper limits.
  • Take some time to clean the windows, headlights, taillights, and blinker lights.
  • Be sure to make sure all your passengers have put on their seat belts before you depart.
  • Slow down and follow the speed limits.
  • Avoid distractions such as the use of cell phones.
  • Be alert.
  • Do not drive impaired. Select a designated driver ahead of time if you plan on consuming alcoholic beverages during your travel window.
  • Make sure to pack any medications you might take on a regular basis. In addition to accidents caused by the reasons listed above, some have reported medical issues as the cause of accidents from forgetting medication when traveling.
  • Pack an emergency preparation kit in case you break down. Be sure it holds basic first aid supplies and anything your family specifically requires in the event of an emergency.

At Seymour EMS, we wish you and your family a very safe and happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for our families, our community, and those who support our entire organization.