Turkey day driving data to help you stay safe

If you’ve ever travelled for Thanksgiving, then you know it’s one of the busiest times of year to travel. Unfortunately more people travelling mean your odds for a car accident increases.

Compared to our data from the two weeks before and two weeks after the holiday week, we saw distinct patterns around three key days:

Black Wednesday

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, known as Black Wednesday, had a 25 percent increase in accidents. The biggest jumps took place in Texas (40 percent), Ohio (32 percent), and New York (29 percent). Parking and rear end accidents overall increased 24 percent. And nearly six in 10 single-vehicle accidents (58.5 percent) on Black Wednesday involved striking an animal or object. Don’t let an accident ruin your Thanksgiving the next day.

Driving Tip: If you go out on Black Wednesday, be sure to get a designated driver.

Thanksgiving Night

35 percent of accidents claims on this night involved only one vehicle. And a large chunk of the accidents (31 percent) were related to backing up or parking, perhaps indicating that shoppers were getting a head start on the Black Friday/Brown Thursday sales.

Driving Tip: With the large jump in animal and objects struck in the road, try to keep a closer eye than usual on the street in front of you.

Black Friday

Black Friday accidents increased by 34 percent and a large portion of the accidents (31 percent) were related to backing up or parking. When you head out to grab the great deals for Black Friday, use extra caution in the parking lot.

Driving tip: Avoid spaces beside cars parked at an angle. Park farther from store entrances, where it’s generally less crowded, to prevent dings and scratches from car doors or shopping carts.

Black Sunday?

For out-of-towners, the Sunday after Thanksgiving isn’t your best choice to hit the road back home. If you can stay an extra day and leave Monday, it’s much safer, with 37 percent fewer accidents than Sunday. Even Saturday is a safer time to travel, with 17 percent fewer accidents compared to Sunday.

Driving Tip: Leave the day before or after Sunday to reduce your chance of accidents. If you have a long drive home get a good nights sleep the night before you leave.

Check out our latest infographic to find out how to stay safe the week of Thanksgiving—from Black Wednesday through Cyber Monday:

Black Wednesday is defined as the time period of 8 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, to 3 a.m. Thanksgiving morning
Thanksgiving Night is defined as the time period of 8 p.m. Thanksgiving, to 3 a.m. the next Friday morning
Black Friday is defined as the entire calendar of the Friday after Thanksgiving, 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.