AAA is predicting that 49 million Americans will be traveling by car between Wednesday and Sunday, November 23-27th. This year is predicted to be significantly busier than the last two years as we regain pre-pandemic status.
Timing your departure can ease stressful driving. To avoid the most hectic travel times, depart early in the morning on Wednesday or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the busiest travel times, we suggest avoiding travel during those times.
In general, the best and worst times to be on the road are:
- Wednesday, Nov. 23— worst times,1 a.m.-8 p.m.; best times, before 8 a.m., after 8 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov 24— worst times, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; best times, before 11 a.m., after 6 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 25— worst times, 4-8 pm.; best times, before 11 a.m., after 8 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 26— worst times, 4-8 pm.; best times, before 2 p.m., after 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 27— worst times, 4-8 p.m.; best times, before 11 a.m., after 8 p.m.
What matters most is that you arrive at your destination as safely as possible. Remember to buckle up and drive sober. This advice is nothing new, yet drivers have been making increasingly risky decisions behind the wheel in recent years.
We all know seatbelts save lives but many people were killed in traffic crashes during the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday weekend and were not wearing their seatbelts. These tragedies are preventable.
Between 2016-2020 over 800 people died from a car crash that involved a drunk driver. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect the way you drive. Impaired driving isn’t only derived from alcohol consumption. It is illegal to drive under the influence of any substance that affects ones driving ability. Whether the substance is legal, illegal, over-the-counter, or prescribed, impaired driving is dangerous and puts everyone on the road at risk of a fatal crash.
With legalized marijuana on the rise, it is a common misconception that driving under the influence of marijuana is safe. That is simply not true. Numerous scientific studies have shown that reduced reaction time, reduced cognitive performance, and difficulty staying in the lane, have proven this misconception to be false.
When considering all of the above, if you choose to partake in marijuana or alcohol consumption during the holiday weekend be smart and create a plan ahead for a designated driver, and find a cab or a rideshare. If you are the sober designated driver, remember to buckle up every time, and make sure your passengers do the same. Please don’t drive distracted and watch your speed. Just because you are sober and alert doesn’t mean other drivers are too.
Wishing safe travels to you and your loved ones. From all of us at Greater Mercer TMA have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!