Statistics show that the following stretch of days, from blackout Wednesday through the Sunday night, are the most dangerous days on Minnesota roads.
According to statistics from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, drivers are more likely to end up in a ditch or in a fender bender in this five-day stretch than any other period of the year.
As we mentioned in a previous post, distracted driving and drunk driving are two big reasons for the spike in crashes. Distracted driving caused 564 crashes between 1,436 cars during the five-day stretch last year. Thankfully, since people are generally traveling at slower speeds during the winter, there are less fatalities per accident than in the summer.
“There may be more ‘fender benders’ in colder, winter weather, but there are also less traffic fatalities,” said David Boxum, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.
If you’re traveling tonight, take it nice and slow. It’s expected to snow until 3pm in the Twin Cities metro area, meaning the roads are going to be rough no matter if you try to drive through the snow to beat traffic, or you wait out the snow and hit rush hour.
If you’re on Twitter tonight, don’t be surprised if you see #BlackoutWednesday or #BadDecisionWednesday trending in your area. Thanksgiving Eve is commonly a day when friends and family are back in their hometown for holiday festivities, and many reconnect with one another over a few beverages.
Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Erik Roeske said he wants people to have a good time, but it’s important they make good decisions to get back from the bar safely.
“While we want people to enjoy that time with their friends and loved ones, we want them to make smart decisions for a safe and sober ride home,” said Roeske.
It should come as no surprise that the Minnesota police are adding extra DUI patrols tonight and through the weekend. Last year drunk drivers caused 32 accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend, and over 1,600 Minnesotans were arrested for driving under the influence during the holiday over the last three years. That means one person is arrested for drunk driving every 13 minutes over the 5-day Thanksgiving stretch. Be safe, and have a great holiday!
Related source: Star-Tribune