Blackout Wednesday, Drinksgiving, Thanksgiving Eve, Black Wednesday. Regardless of what you call the day before Thanksgiving, one thing is sure– it’s one of the deadliest days of the year.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving sparks a ton of excitement. College students are home from school, families have arrived from out of town, and many employers allow their workers the day off for an extended weekend. Unfortunately, this gathering day has garnered a harmful reputation as a drinking holiday, and most spend it out of the home. According to Upserve, on Blackout Wednesday, bars generally see a 270 percent increase in beer sales and a 114 percent increase in liquor sales. With more drinking parties that occur on a single night, your chances of becoming the victim of a drunk driving accident surge.
With the AAA predicting more than 53.4 million people traveling this holiday, the risks for traffic accidents are already higher than ever. Americans are eager to see family members they missed during the pandemic, and will indeed be celebrating to make up for the lost time. It’s up to all New York City motorists to use caution and common sense on the roads on this holiday. Buzzed driving and drunk driving are reckless and unnecessary, not to mention illegal in every state. Help keep your community safe by staying informed and spreading the word about the danger of ”Blackout Wednesday” this week.
Drunk Driving Trends on Blackout Wednesday
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) reports that nearly one third of all traffic fatalities nationwide are caused by drunk drivers, all with blood alcohol levels at or above .08. In 2019 alone, 10,142 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Most of these tragedies occurred during evening hours (midnight to 3:00 am), when drinking establishments wind down business for the night.
Drunk driving fatalities always peak around holidays known for drinking, including the Fourth of July, Labor Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and the upcoming Thanksgiving Eve. From 2014 to 2019, the N.H.T.S.A. reported over 800 alcohol-related traffic fatalities on the days surrounding Thanksgiving; in fact, one-third of all fatal accidents that occur over this holiday break is the result of impaired driving.
The Deadly History Behind Blackout Wednesday
Sadly, Blackout Wednesday has been around for decades, but it wasn’t always known as a day for drunk driving. According to the StarTribune, the tradition of gathering for drinks the day before Thanksgiving started with small towns and villages. Neighbors would bounce from house to house, or walk to local pubs to visit with friends and family who were home for the holidays. There wasn’t too much travel involved, especially by car, so drunk driving rates were relatively low.
Drunk driving accidents became heavily associated with Blackout Wednesday when holiday gatherings before Thanksgiving transitioned from homes to bars and restaurants. This required people to start driving, sometimes far distances, to meet with friends and family, often without adjusting any drinking habits.
According to a study by Scram Systems, 52 percent of drunk drivers caught during the Thanksgiving period claim to drink more over the holidays compared to other times of the year, out of both desire and expectation. Binge drinking culture is highly encouraged among friend groups over the holidays, only making matters worse when it comes to safety on our roads.
Drive Sober or Not At All
The safest step you can take to reduce drunk driving accidents on Blackout Wednesday is never to drink and drive. There is no good excuse to drive intoxicated in a society with ridesharing services at your fingertips. Drunk driving is dangerous, no matter how few drinks you’ve consumed. Any amount of alcohol can impair your judgment behind the wheel, and it only takes a minor error to cause a catastrophic accident.
While staying home is also one of the safest ways to reduce drunk driving accidents this holiday, we understand that New Yorkers are eager to leave their homes. If going out to celebrate Thanksgiving Eve is part of your plan, here are some steps you can take ahead of time to stay safe on your night out:
- Drink in moderation. Blackout Wednesday is heavily associated with binge drinking, as the namesake implies. Binge drinking is unhealthy and dangerous. The more you drink, the worse your judgment becomes. Drink responsibly to reduce your chance of making unsafe decisions you would never make sober, including getting into a car with a drunk driver or driving intoxicated yourself.
- Plan ahead. Don’t get caught out at the bar without a ride. Plan your rides and transportation routes before you leave to avoid risky decisions later.
- Call a ride. Between Uber and Lyft, there is never a reason to find yourself without a ride. Don’t take a chance of driving intoxicated, even if the ride is short. Call a ride to save a life.
- Report drunk drivers. If you see someone is trying to get behind the wheel and is clearly intoxicated, try to stop them if it’s safe. If the situation is out of your control, report the driver to local authorities. Do not let others drive drunk.
From our team at Siler & Ingber, we wish all New Yorkers a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Have fun and drive smart!
New York City Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber have over 30 years of experience representing accident victims in New York City. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process, using our experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at +1 (516).294.2666, or schedule an appointment online at any time. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.