Most Deadly Car Accidents in Sugar Land & Houston Occur Over ThanksgivingNovember 11, 2020
Drunk Driving Auto Crashes Surge During the Thanksgiving Holiday, Study Reveals
In Sugar Land, Texas, and throughout the U.S., Thanksgiving is most traveled holiday of the year. It’s also the time when most fatal car accidents happen on roads in the Greater Houston area. In fact, a recent study shows that Sugar Land and the other cities in the Houston area see more drunk driving deaths over Thanksgiving weekend than any other region in the nation.
That effectively makes Thanksgiving the deadliest time to be on roads in Sugar Land and Houston.
So, whether you or a loved one is planning to hit the roads this year to celebrate Thanksgiving, here’s what you need to know about the risks and what you can do to protect yourself.
Houston Ranks #1 for Fatal Drunk Driving Accidents Over Thanksgiving
The study, published in December 2019, analyzed holiday crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for major cities across the U.S. The Greater Houston area came in first place, with researchers finding that:
- 10% of all traffic deaths in Texas happen over Thanksgiving weekend.
- On average, at least 3,500 Texans die in car accidents during this holiday.
- The risk of a fatal auto accident more than doubles over Thanksgiving, rising from 19% (for any other non-holiday weekend) to 29% (over Thanksgiving).
- At least 1 in 3 Thanksgiving traffic deaths are caused by a drunk driver, and there are at least three times as many impaired motorists on the roads over Thanksgiving weekend.
Thanksgiving Driving: The Deadliest Highways in Texas
While Sugar Land and the Greater Houston area see most traffic over Thanksgiving, a handful of highways running across the state are also very risky when the holidays hit. According to another study, about 15% of holiday traffic deaths in Texas occur on one of the following highways:
The portion of the I-10 that runs through Harris County has been identified as the deadliest stretch of U.S. highway on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities to Drive in Over Thanksgiving
Beyond Sugar Land and the Greater Houston area, several other major cities have been found to be extra risky and highly deadly on Thanksgiving weekend. Other U.S. cities in the top 10 list for most traffic deaths on Thanksgiving include:
2. Los Angeles, California
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Atlanta, Georgia
5. Greensboro, North Carolina
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7. New York City, New York
8. Columbus, Ohio
9. Chicago, Illinois
10. Greenville, South Carolina
“Blackout” Wednesday Kicks Off Deadly Trend in Sugar Land & the Greater Houston Area
Also referred to as Drinksgiving, Blackout Wednesday is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when drunk driving surges across the nation. Experts say that the trend has risen largely due to people returning home and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol with friends and family as they kick off the holiday weekend.
That’s why NHTSA officials are running a national safety awareness campaign from Nov. 25 through 29, 2020, to deter drunk and drugged driving over the Thanksgiving weekend.
It remains to be seen whether the pandemic will put a damper on holiday travel and, if so, whether that impacts accident rates and traffic deaths over Thanksgiving.
In the meantime, here’s what you should know and what you can do if you’ll be on the roads in Sugar Land or anywhere in the Greater Houston area (and beyond) during the holidays.
5 Holiday Driving Safety Tips for Thanksgiving
You can’t control other drivers who share the roads with you over the holidays. You can make safe choices to minimize your risk of an accident. This is what you can do:
- Never drive when you are impaired: Buzzed driving is drunk driving, the NHTSA says. If you feel different, you probably will drive different, so consider it unsafe to get behind the wheel.
- Set up a ride or know how you’ll get home ahead of time if you plan on drinking as part of your Thanksgiving celebrations: Avoid putting yourself in a situation where you’re looking for a ride while impaired. Instead, have a designated driver, a plan to use a ridesharing service, or numbers of taxis so you don’t end up driving when the party’s over.
- Tell people your route and expected time of arrival: If you’re driving longer distances, make sure someone knows the details of your road trip. That way, if you don’t arrive as expected, it’s easier to locate and help you, if needed.
- Drive defensively: Assume that other drivers are not sober or looking out for you. Follow all traffic laws, and call the police if you see a driver on the road who you think is impaired. If you’ll be driving in an area with adverse weather, take it slower, and consider whether you should postpone plans to get on the road.
- Always wear your seat belt: This is the best way to protect yourself if a crash does happen. It reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries by as much as 50% in the event of motor vehicle accidents.
Hurt in Any Car Accident in Sugar Land, TX?
Those who have lost loved ones to or have been injured in car accidents in Sugar Land or the Greater Houston area can get answers about their rights and legal options in a free, confidential consultation. The sooner victims speak to an attorney, the sooner they can start pursuing the justice and financial recoveries they may deserve.
Although the losses from severe crashes may never be reversed in some cases, compensation from these claims can help survivors pick up the pieces.