How far do Americans travel during Thanksgiving weekend? In a recent report, AAA predicted that 48.7 million Americans were expected to travel at least 50 miles or more away from their homes this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared to 2015.
DriveWell, a safe driving telematics program powered by CMT, uses machine learning and statistics to accurately measure key metrics about vehicle mileage, road types, speed, acceleration patterns, phone distraction and collisions.
According to a small sample of about 14,000 DriveWell U.S. drivers, there were 40% more trips over 100 miles on Wednesday, November 23rd and Sunday, November 27th than on a typical Wednesday or Sunday, as people went to visit their friend and families.
The 23rd and 27th also proved to be the busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving weekend. DriveWell users traveled a combined 1.1 million kms (655,000+ miles) on Wednesday (coming in as the busiest travel day of the year) and 937 thousand kms (580,000+ miles) on Sunday.
Not surprisingly, Thanksgiving day and Saturday, November 26th also saw an increase in trips compared to previous weeks. Trips are significantly longer over the holiday weekend with Thanksgiving Day coming in as the second most popular day for trips of 100+ miles.
With more drivers on the roads, encouraging safe driving habits becomes even more critical. Speeding and phone usage were the biggest violators over the holiday weekend. On average, speeding increased on Thanksgiving day and Sunday, the 27th. Surprisingly, Wednesday, the 23rd saw a decrease in speeding events, but an increase in phone usage, likely because of people trying to get away for the weekend mixed with regular commuters, leading to congestion — we typically see that phone use increases when users are stuck in traffic. Interestingly, there was less phone use than usual on 27th, again because people driving on the freeway tend to be less likely to interact with their phone than drivers in traffic.
With the many busy travel days still to come, it is important to take extra precautions before your next holiday road trip.
- Make sure your car is up-to-date on maintenance and can withstand long idle times especially sitting in traffic
- Have roadside assistance information handy in case of emergencies
- Avoid being distracted by your phone and use a mount or cradle for hands-free calls
- Follow posted speed limits and give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination
- Encourage your friends to drive safely!