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Thanksgiving Eve: Biggest Drinking Day of the Year Safe Driving Tips

November 22, 2022 by Steven M. Gursten

Thanksgiving Eve: Biggest Drinking Day of the Year Safe Driving Tips

The biggest drinking day of the year Thanksgiving eve aka the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the drinking and driving that occurs on Thanksgiving Eve is part of the reason why 25% of all fatal crashes over the holiday weekend are alcohol-related. Drunk driving crashes and deaths are 100% preventable.

In Metro Detroit, it is often called “Blackout Wednesday.” I have friends in other states that know it as “Drinksgiving.” Call me old fashioned, but I remember when most people just called it Thanksgiving Eve or, you know, the day before Thanksgiving.

No matter what we call it now, we know that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest drinking day of the year. That makes it a very dangerous day for everyone.

Last year, there were dozens of car accidents in Michigan involving serious personal injury. There were also 12 fatal crashes over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday with 3 of them noted specifically to be alcohol-related. That is counting November 25-28, 2021 and from 6pm to 12am on Wednesday November 24th (i.e., Thanksgiving Eve).

As a car accident lawyer, I do have a unique perspective to a darker side of the holiday season. Every year, there will be thousands of Michigan families who, instead of celebrating the holidays, will be mourning family and good friends.

Yes, the holidays are a time for family and friends to come together for celebrating and giving thanks. But it’s important to take a few minutes to also help you and your loved ones get home safely.

Why is Thanksgiving Eve the biggest drinking day of the year?

Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest drinking day of the year typically because most people do not have to go to work the next day and people are getting together for drinks at the local bar with family and old friends who are in town for a short time to celebrate the holiday.

Thanksgiving Eve drinking

The day before Thanksgiving drinking is a factor in how many alcohol-related fatal crashes and deaths occur over the holiday weekend. In 2021, over the four-day holiday, which includes 6pm to 12am on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, 25% of fatal crashes and 28.5% of deaths were alcohol-related.

Safe driving tips for the biggest drinking day of the year

The #1 safe driving tip for the biggest drinking day of the year is to not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. Research has shown that a driver with a BAC between .05 and .07 is 6 to 17 more likely to be killed in a single vehicle accident than a driver with a .00 BAC.

Other safe driving tips include:

  • Designate a reliable sober driver
  • If you do not have a sober driver, take an Uber or a cab home, or spend the night at your party
  • No texting while driving – Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash
  • No talking on the cellphone – Dialing a phone while driving makes a driver 12 times more likely to be involved in a crash
  • No distractions
  • Keep your speed down – Excessive speed was a factor in 12.7% of all fatal crashes in Michigan in 2021
  • No driving under the influence of drugs or prescription medication
  • No drowsy driving
  • Wear seat belts
  • Be alert to what other vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians are doing
  • Even when you have the green light, look both ways as you enter the intersection in case someone is running a red light on the cross street
  • Watch for pedestrians crossing the road you are traveling on or the road you are turning onto

On behalf of everyone here at Michigan Auto Law, I wish all of my readers and friends a safe Thanksgiving weekend and a happy, peaceful holiday.

How to safely host a Thanksgiving party on the biggest drinking day of the year

To safely host a party on Thanksgiving eve (the biggest drinking day of the year) and to protect yourself against social host liability, you should: (1) hire an experienced bartender to serve drinks; (2) arrange for designated drivers to be available; and (3) encourage partygoers to use Uber or Lyft or call a taxi.

The benefit of hiring an experienced, professional bartender is that he or she will have the experience and training to identify the signs that someone is intoxicated. A hired bartender will also be in a better, more objective position to determine whether someone is old enough (i.e., 21 years of age) to drink alcohol.

Were you injured in a crash on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? Michigan Auto Law can help

If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash on the biggest drinking day of the year – i.e., Thanksgiving Eve or the Wednesday before Thanksgiving – and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages, auto No-Fault insurance PIP benefits, and settlements in cases like yours, you can call us toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 968-1001 for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced injury attorney by visiting our contact page or chat feature on our website.

(Source: Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, 2021, Statewide Reports, Historical Information, 5 Year Summary, “5 Year Trends – Fatal Crashes and People Killed for Select Holiday Periods in Michigan”; MADD, Studies on the Effectiveness of .05 BAC)

Thanksgiving Eve: Biggest Drinking Day of the Year Safe Driving Tips

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