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Hurray For Thanksgiving day

Over the river, and through the wood,

to Grandfather’s house we go;

the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh

through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,

to Grandfather’s house away!

We would not stop for doll or top,

for ‘tis Thanksgiving Day.

This Thanksgiving poem by Lydia Maria Child, is a holiday favorite.  Of interesting note, it is Grandfather’s and not Grandmother’s house as many of us sing; and did you know that Grandfather’s house is located on the Mystic River in Medford, MA?

commerce-acts-books-477966-mWhether you are expecting out of town guests to visit you at your North Shore home or traveling down the Mass Pike or Route 95 or 93 to get out of town for Thanksgiving, the roads and highways are sure to be crowded with cars. Last year we saw record numbers of cars on the road for the holiday.  According to the American Automobile Association predictions for 2014,

  • Thanksgiving holiday travel volume was expected to reach the highest level since 2007, with 46.3 million Americans taking a trip.
  • The 2014 forecast is 4.2 percent higher than the 44.4 million Americans who traveled last year and the greatest growth rate for any holiday since Independence Day 2012.
  • Road trippers likely will pay the lowest Thanksgiving price for fuel in five years. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.85 per gallon, which is 43 cents lower than the average price for Thanksgiving a year ago ($3.28 per gallon).
  • More than 89 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will travel by automobile, a 4.3 percent increase from 39.6 million last year.
  • The average distance traveled this Thanksgiving will be 549 miles roundtrip and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend.

“This year, more Americans will give thanks for the opportunity to travel to friends and family than any year since 2007,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President and Chief Operating Officer. “Americans are more optimistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel.”

“Holiday joy has come early this year with Americans likely to pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2009. Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to carve out more money from household budgets for travel this Thanksgiving,”

With all those cars on the road, the likelihood of accidents increases. It may surprise you to learn that Thanksgiving is usually one of the year’s deadliest weeks for traffic crashes. Between navigating unfamiliar roads, driving late at night or after having a few drinks, and the sheer fact that when traffic volume goes up, car crash numbers generally go up as well, it’s extremely important to drive safe and be careful over this long weekend (and throughout the entire holiday season). In fact, many people believe that New Year’s Eve is the night when most drunk driving accidents occur, but they are wrong. Thanksgiving is the holiday that statistically has the largest number of drunk driving fatalities – and it’s by a landslide. Safe Auto.com

The best action one can take to safely reach your destination is to slow down and wear your seatbelt.  Thanksgiving records reveal that most accidents happen at night as the road congestion clears and drivers go faster.  The statistics are equally clear that if you are in a car accident, your chances of surviving and minimizing the extent of injury, are greatly affected by using and wearing your seat belt. Seat belts reduce the risk of a fatality in car accidents by 45% according to AAA.

If you plan to be on the roads this Thanksgiving, slow down, be alert and use your seatbelt.