Traffic safety experts consider the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to be among the most dangerous driving times of the year. Nearly 1,200 people were killed in traffic crashes throughout the nation over a recent Thanksgiving weekend, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.
What makes it such a risky time on the road? Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times with people driving to family gatherings and students returning home from college. Wine is often consumed with the big meal, and beer often is the beverage of choice as we watch football games on TV. Add to that the fact that a big turkey dinner can cause drivers to feel drowsy.
“A convergence of factors at Thanksgiving time make impaired and drowsy driving real dangers,” said Randy Wright, President of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, a nationwide transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. “All of us at Cottman work hard to keep you and your car safe and reliable, so we urge you do your part by taking precautions on this festive holiday. We want both you and your car to travel safely.”
Safety experts say we tend to get sleepy after a big meal, especially one that includes roasted turkey, which has enzymes that may cause drowsiness. Studies also show that even one or two alcoholic drinks with a meal can seriously impair driving ability.
Cottman offers some simple tips to help keep Thanksgiving safe and joyous for people who must travel by car, whether locally or over big distances.
- Be sure the driver and all passengers are wearing seat belts.
- If you plan to drive, don’t drink or take drugs. If you do plan to drink, designate a sober driver before the holiday celebration begins.
- Avoid driving long distances after a big holiday meal. If possible, have someone who can share driving tasks, and allow extra time for frequent rest stops.
- If you feel yourself nodding off, find a safe place to pull over, have coffee or a caffeinated product and close your eyes for a 20-minute nap.