NSC Estimates More Than 500 People May Die in Preventable Car Crashes Over The Thanksgiving Holiday

Making safe choices before hitting the road is crucial to saving lives

November 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This year, the National Safety Council estimates 507 people will perish in a preventable traffic crash over the Thanksgiving holiday period. During this time, which begins Wednesday, Nov. 22 and concludes Sunday, Nov. 26, impaired driving is of particular concern. Over the holiday period in 2020, 36% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
“It’s alcohol, but also drugs, fatigue, and a combination thereof that can all cause impairment,” said Mark Chung, executive vice president of roadway practice at the National Safety Council. “While a special emphasis is on a celebration such as Thanksgiving this time of year, it’s crucial to make safe choices before you hit the road every time. Choose to drive awake and sober or arrange an alternative mode of transportation; lives depend on it.”
In addition to driving free of impairment, the National Safety Council urges drivers to buckle up, slow down, drive free of distraction and practice defensive driving. For more safe driving tips, visit nsc.org/saferoads. NSC also encourages communities and states to evaluate the road design so that they are implementing the safest roadway systems. All this is part of the Safe System Approach which takes a holistic look at roadway safety that includes safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads and effective post-crash care in addition to safe road users. To learn more about how leading roadway safety organizations are using the Safe System Approach to achieve zero traffic fatalities in the U.S., please visit nsc.org/roadtozero. Review supplemental information about the Thanksgiving Day holiday fatality estimates, and additional motor vehicle data and research at injuryfacts.nsc.org.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for more than 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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