Chicago, Illinois – The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, widely known as “Blackout Wednesday,” ranks as one of the deadliest days on U.S. roads.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2017-2021, 137 drivers in fatal crashes on this day were alcohol-impaired, with a significant portion being young adults aged 21-24. Over the Thanksgiving weekend in these years, more than 830 people lost their lives in crashes involving drunk drivers, substantially higher than the daily average. The risk of encountering drunk drivers increases by 55% compared to other days.
The NHTSA emphasizes the dangers of even low levels of alcohol consumption, noting that in 2021 alone, 2,266 deaths occurred in crashes where drivers had a BAC below the legal limit. As the holiday approaches, authorities are heightening awareness and enforcement to curb this trend.