When you think of Thanksgiving, you probably think of spending time with family, eating turkey, watching football and lounging around on a lazy day off from work. It’s a family-oriented, food-based holiday that is fairly relaxed. It’s not a party holiday like New Year’s Eve. Would you assume that means it’s pretty safe?
While Thanksgiving may be, the truth is that “Thanksgiving Eve” is one of the deadliest days in the United States. Some reports claim that there are more DUI accidents resulting in death on this night than on any other holiday. That includes New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day and other holidays more commonly associated with alcohol. The long Thanksgiving weekend takes an incredible toll.
Why does it happen?
It happens because drinking culture has claimed Thanksgiving Eve as perhaps the biggest bar night in the U.S. It’s a chance for college students to meet up with their friends. A lot of people come home, so they reconnect with those with whom they went to high school. But it’s not just college students. Thanksgiving draws families together, and most of them travel the day before the holiday. That night when they all first arrive in town is when most drinking and driving happens.
Part of the issue is that Thanksgiving is a family-oriented holiday, just like Christmas. People know that they’re not going to see their friends, even though they have a break from work or school. Therefore, the night prior becomes the unofficial holiday to connect with everyone else. Since they’re often staying with relatives, they don’t get together at their homes, but instead head out to the bar.
The extended time off also plays a role. Students and workers alike may not have to report until the following Monday. They have days to recover and so they vow to go out and stay up late. They see little risk in drinking too much or staying up into the early hours of the morning. They can always use the next few days to catch up on their rest. They might as well relax and have fun.
That emphasis on fun is fine, but the problem is that this mindset can lead to excessive drinking and then traffic accidents when people attempt to drive home. With more people in town than usual and the roads unnaturally crowded, accidents and fatalities become common.
Dealing with your injuries
If you go home for the holidays this year and you end up suffering serious injuries in a car accident with a drunk driver, make sure you are well aware of all of the legal options in Pennsylvania that you may have to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages and all of your other costs.