The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and AAA agree that the elevated rates of injuries and deaths due to auto accidents on Thanksgiving Day has a lot to do with the extra traffic on the roads and the higher drunk driving rates on the holiday.
Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for AAA, says that the combination is the cause of the drastic increase.
"More vehicles create greater conflict potential," he says. "And unfortunately, during holiday times, celebratory actions, people drink and get out on the road, and that leads to a problem, too."
Last year 502 people died on the road on Thanksgiving Day. An average day sees 102 highway deaths. To help combat traffic related fatalities on holidays the NHTSA analyzes the causes of traffic accidents.
The NHTSA has found that alcohol abuse is a major factor in many holiday accidents. Young revelers are most likely to get behind the wheel after drinking.
A NHTSA report states that, "Looking at fatalities in crashes involving 21 to 24-year-old drivers during the last two weeks in December from 2002-2006 nearly four fatalities out of every 10 were in alcohol-impaired crashes."
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