Study finds 20 percent increase in fatal crashes during Thanksgiving

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J. Scott Park | MLive.com

A new study has found that during the Thanksgiving holiday, there was a 20% increase in fatal crashes compared with typical driving days.

The safety awareness organization, Safer America analyzed five years of NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Association) data between 2014 and 2018.

Their study was published by the Wisconsin-based personal injury law firm, Canon and Dunphy S.C.

In their study, the team defined the Thanksgiving Holiday period as 12 pm on the day Wednesday before Thanksgiving through 11:59 pm Sunday, four and a half days (102 hours) in total for each year.  During this time there were:

During the five year holiday period, the researchers found the following:

  • 2,308 fatal crashes
  • 2,560 fatalities
  • 659 alcohol-related crashes
  • 765 alcohol-related fatalities

In Michigan, there were 11.5% more fatal accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday than on a typical day between 2014 and 2018.

The states with the highest increase in fatal accidents on Thanksgiving compared with a typical day between 2014 and 2018 were: Maine (111%), Rhode Island (88%) and Missouri (64%).

In contrast, states that saw the steepest drop in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving compared with a typical day between 2014 and 2018 were: Connecticut (-28%), Nevada (-35%) and Wyoming (54%).

The researchers also found that 28 percent of all fatal crashes during the Thanksgiving Holiday period involved drunk drivers.

The states with most amount of fatal crashes involving drunk drivers were Vermont (75%), North Dakota (60%) and South Dakota (56%).

States with the least amount of fatal crashes involving drunk drivers were: Idaho (14%), District of Columbia (0%) and Wyoming (0%).

To read the full study, click here.

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