Thanks to the lowest gas prices since 2008, an estimated one million Maryland motorists are expected to hit the roadways this Thanksgiving, AAA Mid-Atlantic reports. AAA forecasts some 46.9 million U.S. motorists are expected to journey by car more than 50 miles for the holidays — an increase of .06 percent over last year’s numbers.
For Maryland drivers, this translates to plenty of company — and potential headaches — on our Baltimore County highways and beyond this Thanksgiving season. AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Regina Cooper Averella stated in a press release,
“This Thanksgiving, slightly more Americans, including Marylanders, will carve out time to visit family and friends. While many remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many Americans and Marylanders will not sacrifice traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones.”
Gas prices in Maryland are down to an average $2.16 per gallon—that’s 67 cents less than last Thanksgiving’s price of $2.83 per gallon. Lower prices at the pump may provide an additional travel incentive for drivers who may have kept their cars in park or drove fewer miles last Thanksgiving.
However, with the increased volume of traffic comes increased risks for motor vehicle accidents. The AAA measures Thanksgiving traffic over a span of five days, beginning the Wednesday before the holiday through the following Sunday. Some Baltimore County drivers attempt to get a leg up on the holiday traffic crunch by leaving for their destinations earlier, or driving during off hours. But Thanksgiving Eve will likely continue to be a challenge for Maryland drivers trying to navigate our already congested roadways.
Sadly, in our personal injury law firm, we have seen cases where holiday celebrations turned tragic—when someone drinks and drives and causes a traffic accident, or an individual or family is involved in a crash caused by a drunk driver.
As we’ve said before for every holiday that involves the potentially dangerous combination of road travel, get-togethers and alcohol…don’t drink and drive. Don’t text while driving (it’s illegal in Maryland). Stay alert, and don’t drive drowsy (which can be as dangerous as driving under the influence). Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Drive defensively. And keep an eye out on the highway for drivers who may be impaired or distracted.
We hope all Maryland drivers arrive at their destinations safely, and get back home again without incident. Remember, law enforcement doesn’t get a holiday off, and Maryland police will be out there ready to pull over hazardous drivers. Have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday season.
AAA PROJECTS 46.9 MILLION AMERICANS AND NEARLY ONE MILLION MARYLANDERS TO TRAVEL DURING THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
AAA Mid-Atlantic News Release Nov. 17, 2015
46.9 Million Americans to Travel for Thanksgiving, According to AAA
AAA Newsroom Nov. 17, 2015