Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Holiday Travel: Thanksgiving Could be Worst Travel Day of the Year

20.11.2008
University of Alabama professor Allen Parrish offers a peek at peak travel, advice on the best time to travel and how weather affects holiday travel, whether GPS systems improve driving safety, and more.

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 parrish@cs.ua.edu. Stricklin can be contacted at 205/348-0991 or rstricklin@cs.ua.edu.

Parrish | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ua.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>