As many as 485 people may be killed on U.S. roads during the four-day Thanksgiving Holiday this year and another 55,300 may be seriously injured, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
The estimate is the highest the NSC has issued for the Thanksgiving holiday period since 2008.
The NSC says COVID-19 has led to disturbing traffic safety trends this year. Monthly analysis has shown that the roads have become deadlier, despite less traffic.
In the first six months of 2020, the death rate was 20 percent higher than during the same period in 2019, despite a 17 percent drop in miles driven between January and June. Overall, fatalities were up an estimated five percent through September, with about 30,390 people killed since January.
“We’ve noted several times this year that open roads should not be an open invitation for reckless driving,” said Lorraine M. Martin, President and CEO of the National Safety Council.
“We urge drivers to remain vigilant about their own safety if they decide to travel. If every driver would slow down, buckle up, drive sober and pay attention, we could have a holiday of zero fatalities, which is the only acceptable number.”