A recent University of Alabama study shows the fifth worst day for crashes within the state in 2007 was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. These results are in sharp contrast to UA’s CARE Research & Development Laboratory’s previous annual studies of holiday crashes with special emphasis on Thanksgiving.
Two factors likely contributed to the 585 crashes that occurred in Alabama on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, in contrast with the 196 crashes occurring on the Thanksgiving holiday itself, the study indicated.
First, during 2007 there seem to be fewer people taking off early in the week, indicated by significantly fewer crashes occurring on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.
Second, further analysis indicated that in 2007 the weather was rainy on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, with almost 50 percent of the crashes occurring in rainy weather. Comparatively, less than 10 crashes occurred statewide in the rain on Monday and Tuesday.
Most of the crashes on this Wednesday occurred in the early afternoon and evening, with 50 percent of the crashes occurring between 1 to 6 p.m.
“This is definitely a time to be avoided on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, especially if bad weather is a possibility,” said Dr. Allen Parrish, professor of computer science and director of the CARE Research & Development Laboratory at UA.
“There is obviously a large concentration of people on the road who are not nearly as familiar with their routes as commuters,” said Parrish.
The best day of the week to be on the road is Thanksgiving Thursday. The actual holiday had about one-third of the crashes that occurred on Wednesday, a reflection that most road travelers have already reached their destinations at that point.
Since people’s return from their holiday trip is spread over the long weekend, there is no concentration on the return to cause anything as dangerous as the Wednesday pattern, according to the researchers.
Areas of the state showing significantly more crashes in 2007 than in previous (2003-2006) years include the Auburn, Decatur and Huntsville areas. Areas with the greatest reductions of crashes in 2007 include Mobile and Birmingham, as well as the rural areas of Baldwin and Jefferson Counties.
Parrish offered a few safety recommendations for road traveling during the holiday:
Be acquainted with traffic problem areas and avoid them
Do not drive while intoxicated, do not ride with others who are intoxicated, and avoid the obvious times and places where you might become the victim of drunken driving
Always wear your seat belt, regardless of how long the trip
Keep children properly restrained in the back seat
Watch the weather reports, and plan your trip accordingly
“Driving does not have to be dangerous,” said Parrish. “If you keep these safety basics in mind, you will cut your chances of being killed to a probability very close to zero.”
UA’s CARE Research & Development Laboratory, part of the computer science department, uses leading edge technologies to offer products and specialized software development services in a variety of areas, particularly traffic safety and law enforcement. Additionally, the CRDL routinely provides a variety of safety studies and planning documents, such as the Crash Facts Books and Highway Safety Plans.
Parrish can be contacted at 205/348-3749, or email@example.com. Stricklin can be contacted at 205/348-0991 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parrish | Newswise Science News
Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy