Thanksgiving Day Drinking Statistics

Each Year Hundreds of People Die During the Thanksgiving Holiday


According to the National Safety Council, hundreds of people die each year on the road during the Thanksgiving Holiday period. A large percentage of those traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver. This year the Thanksgiving holiday begins on Wednesday, November 25, and ends on Sunday, November 29. 

The 4-period has proven deadly in the years past. This year there is a lot of uncertainty about whether the statistics will hold true since the Coronavirus pandemic may alter some people’s plans.

In 2016, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that there were 439 traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving Day holiday period. 36 percent of those accidents involved an impaired driver. The annual average for alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, in 2016, was 28 percent. In 2017, the NSC reported that there were 470 Thanksgiving Day holiday period traffic fatalities. Of those, 35 percent involved an impaired driver compared to an annual average of 29 percent.

This year, if fewer people are on the road to see family, the statistics may take a welcome downward trend. Less traffic could lead to less impaired drivers and fewer fatalities. 

In addition to fatalities, tens of thousands of people are injured in traffic accidents during this same period each year. Traffic injuries can be relatively minor to catastrophic. It is important to note that law enforcement agencies across the country usually hold checkpoints and increased saturation patrols throughout the Thanksgiving holiday in order to deter drunk drivers.

No matter what your plans on this Thanksgiving, it is important to remember to never get behind the wheel after drinking. Stay safe and stay healthy this holiday season.