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Know the risks on the road this Thanksgiving holiday

Thanksgiving is just a week and a half away, so it's important to start thinking about your plans and how you'll get where you need to go. If you plan to drive, now is the time to think about the hazards you could face on Thanksgiving and how you can avoid them.

One such hazard is the higher risk of getting into a crash because of heavy traffic. Any time there are more people on the roads, there's a greater risk of collisions taking place. Remember to stay alert and to give yourself plenty of time to get to your event. That way, you don't need to rush and won't be as stressed on the road.

Another thing to remember is that many people drink alcohol with their dinners on Thanksgiving. Since that's the case, it's fairly common to see drunk drivers the night before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day and during the weekend. If you notice someone driving erratically, take the time to report the driver.

In 2014, the Thanksgiving Day weekend was the holiday with the highest number of motor vehicle deaths. On average, 50 more people die during the Thanksgiving weekend due to crashes than any other time of the year. Why? The University of Alabama blames speeding, weather, alcohol and other factors that are more prevalent during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Getting to your event with your family and friends is important, but being safe is more important. Remember to stay alert and to avoid distractions while you're on the roads, and if you're hit, call for help as soon as you can.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Facts Statistics: Highway safety," accessed Nov. 8, 2017

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