Be Safe This Thanksgiving

With heavy traffic and drivers over indulging in merlot and tryptophan, Thanksgiving can be an especially dangerous holiday on the roads. Add to this a little road rage, inclement weather and extra drivers avoiding those enhanced pat downs and this Thanksgiving may be a little more perilous. In fact, between 1998 and 2008 there was an average of 572 deaths annually on U.S. highways during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The National Sleep Foundation, blames drowsy driving as a primary cause of accidents. The most at risk of driving while drowsy are:

  • Young adults 18-29
  • Men (56%) more than women (45%)
  • Shift workers

So, to keep you and yours safe over the next few days, please read these recommendations from Penn DOT:

  • Never drink and drive;
  • Always wear a seat belt;
  • Pay full attention to the road — avoid distractions such as cell phones;
  • Always use the proper turn signals; and
  • On multi- lane highways, travel in the right lane except when passing. It’s the law.

Keep in mind that while states have differing legal limits for blood alcohol content, even one drink can impair your driving. In addition, the combination of sleeplessness and alcohol are especially dangerous. Wakefulness of 18 hours produces an impairment equal to a blood alcohol level of .05 (.08 is legally drunk in most states). This goes up to .10 after a full day without sleep. Adding alcohol will more than double this impairment.

So, be safe. Get plenty of rest, watch the booze and try not to yell at the kids. Leave extra time and remember, it’s not always the “other guy”.