New research estimates 2,500 wrecks could occur during Thanksgiv - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL


New research estimates 2,500 wrecks could occur during Thanksgiving week

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

If you're hitting the road for Thanksgiving, you need to buckle up. 

A new study from The University of Alabama's Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) estimates more than 2,500 wrecks could happen on Alabama highways this week.

The Thanksgiving travel period is defined as the holiday on Thursday and the three days before and after. CAPS did a study based on statewide trends during the past few years. 

It found Thanksgiving in Alabama combined with college football, deer hunting season and impaired drivers makes for an accident-prone combination.

"The problem is not that you have more crashes during Thanksgiving week, it's that they're concentrated in certain days of the week,” said Dr. David Brown with CAPS.

More drivers on fewer days elevate the danger, according to Brown. He's not talking about back roads and shortcuts. The problem is the roadways people are using to get from city to city.

“Interstates and highways, which would be your main roads as opposed to your city streets or county roads,” he said.

Brown said the worst day out of the week to travel will be Friday because people will be heading home from family gatherings or onto another weekend adventure. His research also shows wrecks involving deer are 77 percent more likely during Thanksgiving week. 

If you find yourself in a situation where wildlife may affect your driving conditions, he recommends not doing anything that threatens your control of the vehicle.

"Hitting the deer is not as bad as hitting the tree. If you swerve and run off the road, you might miss the deer but you could hit a tree and it would be far worse,” said Dr. Brown.

In general, drive with caution this week. You might think you're invincible, but you're not.

"It seems like common sense to everybody, we all think we're the exception. We all tend to violate the rules once and awhile and it only takes once," Brown said.

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