Stay safe on the roads this Thanksgiving

Millions of people will get in their cars and travel over the next week for Thanksgiving. And whether you are a college student driving across the state to get home or someone driving across the country to visit relatives, your top priority is likely to get where you are going safely.

Unfortunately, this won’t happen for everyone, as Thanksgiving is a particularly deadly time for motorists in Pennsylvania. Below, we examine three reasons why and what motorists can do to stay safer this holiday.

Drunk drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that more people die in drunk driving accidents during the Thanksgiving period than any other holiday. The night before Thanksgiving is particularly treacherous.

To avoid an accident, do not drive drunk; find a sober ride and make sure your friends and family have a safe ride home as well. Even if you aren’t drinking, you might try to avoid driving late at night. If you see a driver who may be impaired, keep your distance and contact the authorities.


During holidays like Thanksgiving, people may be reconnecting with their friends, visiting new places and trying to coordinate holiday logistics with family members. As such, people can be distracted by their passengers, GPS devices or messages on their phones. This can make them dangerous behind the wheel.

To avoid a distracted driving crash, minimize the number of people in the car. Review directions before you head out, and pull over if you must look at a map or send a message. You should also give other vehicles plenty of room and be aware of the vehicles around you.

Bad weather

Winter driving can be unpredictable, especially as you travel to other states. And while we can’t control the weather, we can control how we drive in it.

Slow down if roads are wet, snowy or icy. Make sure you turn your lights on and use your turn signals as needed. Avoid cutting off other vehicles and try to stay calm and be patient in areas of congestion or road work.

And no matter where you are going or how long your trip is, always wear your seat belt.