Buckling Up for Busy Thanksgiving Holiday Travel

Americans are traveling at pre-pandemic levels; not seen since 2019! The Attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno want you to be prepared for the inevitable headaches at the airport and on the road.

Busy Travel

For the past two year, many holiday festivities were delayed due to pandemic closures and restriction. Thanksgiving is the first major holiday for Americans as states open up and relieve restrictions on travel and gatherings.

According to Adobe, Thanksgiving flight bookings are just 1% below 2019 levels. Compared with last year, bookings are up 70%.

The AAA suggests that 53.4 million people will travel for Thanksgiving, whether by road or by plane. That was within 5% of pre-pandemic levels for this time of year, and AAA said air travel had almost completely rebounded.

Plan Ahead (Links)

On weekend holidays, state highways across Washington will see higher than usual traffic, especially on Interstate 90, where lengthy delays are expected. Longer than typical wait times at ferry docks also are expected during a holiday that falls on a weekend.

According to WSDOT, there are no charts for I-5 at the Canadian border this year because it only recently reopened and COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements make it difficult to forecast travel patterns. For more informaition about travel times, visit WSDOT.

I-5 Northbound Thursday, November 25 - Typical Traffic Volume Bellingham to Canadian Border

Holiday Collisions and Injuries

Drunk Driving

Alcohol is a common factor at many Thanksgiving celebrations. Thursday is a holiday, but most people begin celebrating on Wednesday night. Many drivers, in a rush to get home, don’t take the time to sober up after spending hours drinking.

Drivers under the influence contribute to a significant number of Thanksgiving holiday crashes. When a driver is drunk, they lack the skills and reflexes that are necessary to navigate safely. And, they put themselves, their passengers, other commuters, and pedestrians at risk.

Fatigue

Fatigue leads people to fall asleep at the wheel or make bad judgement calls, so it always recommended to obtain enough sleep before driving. Driver fatigue accidents are difficult to quantify because there is no drowsiness test comparable to blood alcohol testing for drunk drivers. Conservative estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) place fatigue-caused accidents at 100,000 a year, with 1,550 resulting deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in costs.

“BET”

We’re in one of the busiest travel times of the year – in the air and on the roads. So let’s make sure you’re road-trip ready. You don’t know how long you will be in traffic, the condition of the roads, or the weather conditions of a mountain pass.

AAA says all you have to remember is “BET.” It stands for “battery, engine and tires.”

First, your battery. They typically last three to five years. So, after three years, get your battery checked annually.

Next, your engine. Check your coolant levels before you leave and keep an eye on them, while you’re on the road. And if your engine overheats, remember never pull the radiator cap off while the engine is hot! Let the car cool down, first.

Finally, your tires. Most cars these days track your tire pressure, but Triple AAA says it’s a good idea to check it yourself, before hitting the road.

You can do that at most gas stations and make sure your tires are in good shape using a quarter.

What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Car Accident?

Even if you take steps to stay safe, there’s still a chance that you’ll be injured in a car accident. Your choices and decisions after an accident will affect any injury claims you decide to file. Here’s what you should do if you are involved in a crash this holiday weekend:

Know what to do after a car accident. Call Althauser Rayan Abbarno at (360) 736-1301.

1) Call the Police

2) Exchange Information

3) Get the names and contact information for witnesses

4) Seek medical attention if necessary

5) Report the collision to the insurance but do not give any details until you have spoken with an attorney.

6) Call Althauser Rayan Abbarno at (360) 736-1301

You may have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurance, do not provide detail of the collision until you had time to speak with an attorney.

You do not have an obligation to speak with the at-fault drivers insurance and you should not speak to the insurance company until you speak with Althauser Rayan Abbarno.

Call the Centralia & Olympia Attorneys

Althauser Rayan Abbarno offers free glove box auto collision cards in both their Olympia and Centralia offices or by calling (360) 736-1301.  The glove box cards include steps to take in the event of a car accident and accident report card to record important information about the collision.

Althauser Rayan Abbarno injury attorneys have offices in Centralia and Olympia for your convenience. For more than 70 years, our attorneys have fought for the rights and benefits of victims of car accidents throughout the State of Washington.

To meet with our experienced Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorneys in Centralia or Olympia, call (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com. All injury and car accident consultations are FREE.