11-25-2009, 11:49 AM
Last year's Thanksgiving deaths were down from a 26-year average (the DOT began tracking traffic fatalities in 1982) of 556 in part because volatile gas prices that summer and early fall had deterred some families from driving, [spokesman for AAA] says. This year, with gas prices averaging $2.63 a gallon nationwide and holding, he expects the number of highway travelers--and fatalities--to rise.
11-25-2009, 02:26 PM
Good to know. I wouldn't have thought that. But part of the problem is the sheer number of people driving, many of them doing the most driving they'll do all year.
I know the article only considers actual holiday DAYS, not periods, but I've always considered New Year's Eve/Day the most dangerous, followed by Christmas Eve. People are always running around frantically trying to get their last minute shopping done on Christmas Eve, and I'm always extra wary. TODAY (day before Thanksgiving) and Black Friday are ones to be careful about too.
And I'm always extra cautious on the beginning of the big 3 summer holiday weekends. Both the beginning and end of each of these weekends are busy and congested, but at the beginning people are more likely to start their trip behind schedule because packing always takes longer than we expect, and the beginning of the weekend is much more likely to involve alcohol.
11-25-2009, 03:35 PM
Well, I've already seen my first accident of the holiday weekend and I haven't even left! The article mentions nighttime driving to be hazardous, but frankly I prefer to do as much driving as possible in the wee hours to minimize my exposure to predictably bad traffic later in the day. The trade-off at this time of year is deer, of course, so one has keep an eye on the bushes.
11-29-2009, 10:53 PM
Didn't leave town this weekend and didn't witness any accidents ... but I sure saw a whole lot of stupid driving.
11-30-2009, 08:17 AM
I have to say that police were out in force and doing a good job and keeping things more reasonable. I loved tactics I saw in TN and KY where troopers were driving rapidly into packs of fast moving vehicles and motioning for them to pull over. I saw this twice. The first time three police cars were involved and once all 7 speeders in a pack were pulled over, two police cars hit the road again letting the third officer hold the people up while writing tickets (wonder how long the last guy had to wait:) )
The other incident was a pair of officers who came into a group of speeders one at a time. The first officer pulled in and selected out about 4 cars and signaled them to pull over. Once they were out of the way and the remaining group of speeders starting accelerating up again, another police car dived in and pulled another 3 cars over. The few speeders that were left did eventually pull away from me, but only doing maybe 5 over the limit....looks like they get the message.
Wish we could see this kind of police work more often and on roads other than interstates.