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Holiday Travel Alert: Stay Safe This Thanksgiving

Chad West Nov. 25, 2020

Each year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous time on our nation’s roads. This year is likely to look different in every imaginable way. We hope that means there will be fewer car wrecks and fewer fatalities. However, if COVID-19 trends related to daily travel on our roads are any indication, it’s entirely possible that there may be more severe wrecks than usual. Though there’s less traffic on our roads this year, injury wrecks have been more severe, according to insurance industry analysts.

This year’s AAA Travel Forecast predicts at least a 10 percent decline in the number of Americans who will travel this holiday. An October forecast predicted some 50 million Americans would travel, down from 55 million, the lowest number since the great Recession of 2008. But, AAA now says that number may be even lower as the CDC and other public health agencies continue to encourage Americans to stay home to slow virus spread.

While we definitely recommend limiting your in-person visits this season, many will still be traveling and visiting family. While fewer Americans are expected to travel – and far fewer will do so by air – many are anticipated to make a last-minute travel decision, with some hopping in the car to make a day trip to see nearby family. That means more drivers could be on our roads. Many may overconsume alcohol. Protect your rights and avoid a major injury.

Mitigate risk by traveling during daytime hours if possible. Evening hours naturally mean more risk for travelers, especially since people tend to drink of Thanksgiving. Lousy weather and low visibility during morning and evening hours can also be a factor. If you can stay where you’re going or leave to get home before dark, you’ll be safer and avoid a crash.

Designate a driver, even if only traveling a short distance. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is known as one of the riskiest in terms of potentially being involved in a crash with a drunk driver. Why? People take off work early and tend to start celebrating the night before the holiday. The celebrate just continues throughout the weekend as people kick off the holiday season. While there will certainly be fewer distance travelers, expect city traffic to be fairly normal.

Make sure your guests family members have safe transportation home. You are responsible for your guests under Texas social host liability laws. If a guest overconsumes alcohol and causes a wreck, you can be deemed responsible for encouraging overconsumption and can be held liable for property damages if the overconsumption causes proximate damages.

Are you suffering from an injury sustained because of someone else’s negligence? We are happy to evaluate your case and make recommendations about whether you should pursue a recovery. Contact us to discuss your case.

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