Thanksgiving is recognized as one of the most heavily traveled holidays, with festivities both before and after the turkey is carved. As families prepare to hit the road this Thanksgiving week, new data from Progressive Insurance offers drivers a leg up on potential accident risks from the day before Thanksgiving (known as Black Wednesday) through Cyber Monday.
The Thanksgiving week fender bender timeline
Progressive pulled claims data from the week of Thanksgiving, dating back to 2010. When compared to the data from the two weeks before and two weeks after the holiday week, Thanksgiving week stood out, showing a jump in claims at some significant times for consumers. Findings included:
Black Wednesday accidents increased by 25 percent
- The biggest jumps took place in Texas (40%), Ohio (32%) and New York (29%);
- Nearly six in 10 single vehicle accidents (58.5%) on Black Wednesday involved striking an animal or object.
Thanksgiving night accidents increased by 20 percent
- 35 percent of accident claims involved only one vehicle;
- A large chunk of the accidents (31%) were backing or parking-related, perhaps indicating that shoppers were getting a head start on the midnight Black Friday sales.
Black Friday accidents increased by 34 percent
- The trend from Thanksgiving night continued, with the data showing that 31 percent of claims on Black Friday were backing or parking-related, more than any other claim type filed on that day.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving has the highest percentage of out-of-state accidents of any day in the holiday week
- Out-of-state accidents are most likely to occur in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, California and North Carolina.
- Drivers from Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas are most likely to file out-of-state accident claims.
If traveling out of state or driving a long distance home, the data shows that there are much safer times to hit the road than Sunday:
- Monday is the safest time to head home after the holidays with 37 percent fewer accidents compared to the popular travel day of the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
- Even Saturday is a safer time to travel, with 17 percent fewer accidents compared to Sunday.
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