The National Safety Council (NSC) says an estimated 55,300 serious injuries will occur in the U.S. during the four-day Thanksgiving Holiday period.
The NSC also estimates that as many as 485 people may be killed on the roads during the holiday period, the council said. The estimate is the highest the NSC has issued for the Thanksgiving holiday period since 2008.
A monthly analysis has shown that the roads have become deadlier despite less traffic, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disturbing traffic safety trends this year, NSC said. While the number of fatalities dropped dramatically in the spring, the country experienced a rise in the death rate.
For the first half of 2020, the death rate was 20% higher than during the same period last year, despite a 17% drop in miles driven, the NSC reported. Overall, fatalities are up an estimated 5% through September, with about 30,390 people killed since January.
In addition to this, alcohol often is a major factor in fatal crashes during holiday weekends, including Thanksgiving, NSC reported. In 2018 31% of fatal crashes during the holiday period involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
This year’s Thanksgiving holiday period estimate is subject to enhanced volatility, with a wider statistical confidence interval than usual, because of trends in 2020.