Thanksgiving kicks off deadly season for impaired crashes

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DUI graphic(Associated Press)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:29 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Every year millions of Americans hit the road to visit families for Thanksgiving. However, a dangerous tradition gaining traction has highway safety experts pleading with people to be safe.

Known as “Drinksgiving” or Blackout Wednesday,” the day before Thanksgiving has become associated with binge drinking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says over Thanksgiving weekend from 2015 to 2019, nearly 800 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver. In that same time frame, 135 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were drunk.

“Thanksgiving Eve to New Years Day is the time of year we see the most deaths and injuries,” said Alex Otte, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “Summer around July 4th is really high as well, but this holiday period is always concerning for us.”

NHTSA says the Thanksgiving holiday has become one of the deadliest on the roads.

“We know that around the holidays, the numbers typically increase just because people are off work and are more likely to make the wrong decisions to drink and drive,” said Otte. “But it’s all the more devastating around the holidays. It often causes someone to have one less person at their holiday table, and have one less family member with them to celebrate Thanksgiving and celebrate Christmas.”

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