As families prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving thanks, AAA Northern New England is warning motorists about “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving”—the day before Thanksgiving Day which is a particularly bad day for alcohol and drug-related fatal crashes because of the overconsumption of alcohol that takes place among people gathering back in their hometowns and reuniting at bars and homes.
This year, AAA projects that 45.5 million Americans will travel by car to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. From 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died nationwide in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Impairment is not just an issue for those behind the wheel. With a growing number of pedestrian deaths, AAA is reminding drivers and pedestrians to take every precaution to look out for one another as they come and go from Thanksgiving holiday festivities. We want everyone to make it to the table for Thanksgiving.
AAA is reminding anyone headed out Wednesday night or throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and planning to drink:
- Make a plan ahead of time – before you have even one drink to have a sober, designated driver
- Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Don’t risk it
- If you don’t have a designated driver, call a friend or family member, taxi or car share service such as Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.
- If you have a friend, that is about to drive impaired, find them a safe way home or have them stay with you until they are sober.
- If you see a drunk driver, call 911 to report them.
“It is never OK to get behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are buzzed or drunk,” said Dan Goodman, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England. “The risk of injury or death for yourself, passengers and others on the roads is not worth it, especially when there are other ways to get home safely. AAA wants everyone to safely enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and family and not have to deal with a tragedy caused by impaired driving.”