It’s almost that time. Holiday season is gearing up, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Traveling traffic is always a mess during this time of year, and you may choose to get to your destination a day early in an attempt to avoid this. However, this day before Thanksgiving, or the night before, more specifically, is another, lesser-known holiday. Black Wednesday, also known as the biggest bar night of the year, is a frequently observed drinking celebration, and because of this, it also becomes one of the most dangerous nights to be out on the road. 

Facts & Stats

Though holidays like New Years or Independence Day are typically thought of as more party-centric, involving a fair amount of drinking, both of these holidays fall behind Black Wednesday when it comes to the number of drunk driving related deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 5500 people died in motor vehicle accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday between the years of 2000 and 2009. Out of these, around a third of them were related to drunk driving incidents, which results in the highest number of drunk driving accidents of any holiday. 

Reports from the NHTSA have also shown that there have been more alcohol-related deaths on Black Wednesday than on New Year’s Eve in four of the last five years. Other studies have also shown that a number of people consider the start to the holiday drinking season to be the night before Thanksgiving. 

Staying Safe

With these sobering statistics taken into consideration, you may be wondering how to stay safe while traveling for the holidays. Though you are not able to control every driver’s actions on the roads, there are some precautions that you can take to decrease your chances of being involved in a drunk driving related accident

Designate a Driver

Whether it is you or a friend in the party, or someone else who will be picking you up later, be sure to plan on having a sober driver escort you (and everyone else) home when the party is over. Offering to pitch in for gas as a gratitude gift can be pretty persuasive as well. 

Utilize Ride Options

Nowadays, rideshare and taxi options abound, especially in larger cities like Las Vegas, with a known nightlife culture. Public transportation is another option, but regardless of what choice you go with, having someone else shuttle you to your destination is safer than driving when you have consumed a few alcoholic beverages. 

Stay In 

Probably the safest option of all is to simply just stay in. Invite your friends or family over to enjoy some drinks and stay over, where everyone can sleep off the intoxication safely and drive home in the morning. 

The holidays are meant to be an enjoyable time for everyone, and staying safe is an essential part of that enjoyment. If you plan on celebrating Black Wednesday, or any other part of the holiday season with some drinks, be sure to arrange safe rides and avoid drunk driving related accidents. If you do happen to be involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver, it is essential to contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney immediately. Let us know what we can do for you.