Drunk Driving Accidents on Thanksgiving & How to Avoid Them


drunk driving on thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means weekend road trips to visit family or friends, cooking and eating lots of tasty food, and for those of us who are of age, indulging in a tipple or two. However, with the promise of merriment comes a darker threat: the day before Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday DUI Season, as well.

In fact, over the past five years, more than 800 people have died during drunk driving accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend alone. This disturbing trend is due to a number of factors.

The Dangers of Holiday Travel

Since millions of Americans return to their hometowns for Thanksgiving, the day before – Thanksgiving Eve – is better known to law enforcement and first responders as “Blackout Wednesday,” because it’s one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. People meet up with friends and family, and since they’re home for the weekend, tend to let loose. Many areas experience a significant uptick in drunk driving cases the night before Thanksgiving.

The sheer number of people on the road is a huge factor in the weekend’s driving dangers: the American Automobile Association estimates that more than 45 million Americans will drive a long distance for Thanksgiving. More cars on the road means more traffic, more congestion, and more opportunities for wrecks, even without factoring in the increase in DUIs.

Compounding both of these factors is the poor weather of the holiday season. For much of America, Ohio included, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is dark, wet, cold, and icy – all hard driving conditions. And if a driver is buzzed or intoxicated, navigating increased congestion, or both, it’s obvious that their chance for a collision goes way up.

Staying Safe While Visiting Loved Ones

There are a number of ways you can stay safe this holiday season. For starters, practice safe and defensive driving by buckling your seatbelt, driving defensively, and obeying all the rules of the road. If you plan to drink at a party or other get-together, be sure to decide on a designated driver before you go, and hand your keys to your host before you have your first drink.

In addition, you can learn the basics of recognizing a drunk driver, to more easily avoid them. Drunk and impaired drivers tend to do one or more of the following:

  • Make very wide, abrupt, or illegal turns
  • Fail to stay within their lane, either by weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling
  • Nearly running into the side of the highway or other obstacles
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Responding slowly to signals or other changes in traffic flow
  • Braking erratically, or for no reason
  • Driving without headlights in the dark

If you see a driver exhibiting one of these behaviors, stay away from them as well as you can. If you or a passenger can safely and legally call the police, report the drunk or impaired driver so they will stop endangering themselves and others.

What to Do if You’re in a Drunk Driving Accident This Thanksgiving

If the worst does happen, and you find yourself in an accident with a drunk driver this holiday season, you’ll need a personal injury attorney who can represent your interests against the other person’s insurance. Especially if you or a loved one were injured in the crash, you deserve compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. After dealing with a car accident case, you shouldn’t have to worry about your family or medical bills, and we know that here at Rinehardt.

Consult with an Expert Drunk Driving Attorney in Ohio

The team of expert car accident lawyers at the law offices of Rinehardt Injury Attorneys has years of experience litigating accidents involving drunk and impaired drivers, and we’re dedicated to fighting for you in court! Give us a call today for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys to see what our individual attention can do for you. As the premier personal injury lawyers of Ohio, we can promise that our Columbus car accident attorneys will fight for you! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, truck accident, or a car crash, the Columbus car accident lawyers here at our law firm will get you the compensation you deserve! You can contact us online for a free legal consultation or you can swing by our Mansfield or Columbus office. Either way, we will help all injury victims get what they deserve to recover from their motor vehicle accident. And remember, don’t drink and drive!

The Impact of a Car Accident vs Truck Accident


No one wants to be in an automobile accident, whether it be with another passenger car or with a large truck. Both accidents can involve working with law enforcement, dealing with insurance companies, and potential injuries; however, car accidents and large truck accidents are not the same. There are additional factors when there is a collision between a passenger car and a large truck. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced truck accident attorney to help you navigate the difficulties an accident can bring.

flipped red car crash

Severity of the Accident

Truck accidents tend to be more severe than accidents involving multiple passenger cars. Accidents can involve all types of motorists, but when a motorcycle or car is involved in a large truck accident, the results are often catastrophic. Trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks are tall, bulky, and significantly heavier than cars. The impact from these types of vehicles is often brutal, resulting in significant damage to the vehicles involved and major, sometimes life-altering, injuries. These injuries often result in high medical bills and ongoing therapy. It is important to have a truck accident attorney represent you to ensure that any offer you receive is the correct amount for the damages and injuries you’ve experienced. 

Understanding the Cause

Car accidents are usually a result of human error; the driver could be speeding or distracted. Truck accidents tend to be caused by other factors, including: 

Driver Fatigue

While there are federal regulations that mandate driver rest breaks and limit driving time, many drivers violate these regulations to meet strict delivery deadlines. This results in driver fatigue, which can cause a truck driver to fall asleep at the wheel, or have slow reaction times causing an accident.

Improper Maintenance

Equipment failure is another common factor in truck accidents. Truck companies and drivers are responsible for maintaining the trucks on the road. Tire blowouts, faulty brakes, and other mechanical failures could mean that the truck company is responsible for the accident. 

Unbalanced Loads

Considering large trucks by definition carry significant loads, the cargo in these trucks must be properly balanced. If a dock worker or logistics company does not load the truck correctly, it can result in an accident. Trucking companies and drivers have a responsibility to inspect their vehicles to ensure appropriate balance at the beginning of a route.

Navigating the Aftermath of a Wreck

car accident doctor

When you get into an accident with a passenger car, you generally only have to deal with the owner of the car and their insurance company. When you are involved in a large truck accident, the truck company gets involved. You won’t just have to navigate the insurance company, you will also be dealing with their lawyers. That’s why it’s important to have a truck accident attorney representing you. We can help by leveling the playing field, so you don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by an insurance company or any other party.

Available When You Need Us

rinehardt car accident attorneys

Rinehardt Injury Attorneys is the answer to your truck accident. Our team of attorneys and case managers represents clients in Columbus and throughout central and north Ohio. You can contact us online 24/7 or call our office anytime. We offer free initial consultations, and our personal injury clients owe no attorney fees until we secure compensation for their losses. If you have been in a truck accident and need a truck accident attorney, reach out to Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, and let us help you.

What to do After You’ve Been in a Truck Accident


Every year, the number of truck accidents and fatal truck accidents increases, and Ohio is no exception to this. Last year alone there were a reported 13,971 commercial-related crashes in Ohio, with 1,372 occurring in Hamilton County. In 2019, there were 153 Commercial Motor Vehicle involved fatalities. Being involved in a semi or 18 wheeler accident can be a scary, unfortunate incident, and it’s important to know the steps to take if you find yourself in such an uncertain situation. Our lawyers here at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have come up with a list of our top 5 things to do after you’ve been in a truck accident.

Truck Accident

1. Call the Police.

When you’ve been in an accident, you need to call law enforcement. Filing a report with the police is important, even if it may not seem like a big deal at the moment or there is little to no property damage. You or a loved one could have sustained injuries and damages that may not be immediately noticeable. If you do end up having to seek medical treatment, you’ll be glad you have the police report to support you!

2.  Seek Medical Attention

After being involved in a truck wreck, you need to be checked out by a doctor. From serious to minor injuries, it’s important to take your health and safety seriously and make sure that you are physically okay. Additionally, having an official medical report can help to uncover any late-onset injuries associated with the accident. If you take too long to seek medical attention or are hoping to receive a settlement before going in, the insurance company could dispute your claim. When this happens, the insurance company can simply say that since you did not get checked out by a physician immediately after the crash, you were not hurt as a result of the semi-truck accident. 

3. Gather and Document Evidence

We understand that during the aftermath of a wreck, everyone is experiencing a whirlwind of emotions and it can be easy to forget what you need to do. One thing you must remember to do, however, is to gather evidence and document everything. Take pictures of the collision, any vehicle damaged in the accident, and any visible bodily injuries. Just as important is the need to write down and document what happened. Record any details you have about those involved in the truck accident, including the responding police officer. Collect insurance information, and if there are witnesses, get their account of the incident and contact information as well. Things tend to get hazy over time, and after a traumatic incident such as this, it’s easy to forget important details.

4. Protect Yourself

For our fourth suggestion, this is more of a “what not to do” when involved in an 18 wheeler accident. All of these tips are centered around taking care and protecting yourself, and it is paramount that you protect yourself by saying nothing and signing nothing. You may have to speak to the truck driver’s insurance company, witnesses, and even your own insurance company. State the facts, but don’t go into details. Oftentimes, the truck company will try and get involved and offer you a settlement to avoid going to court. Speaking with the truck company’s insurance may be tempting to take the offer, but we recommend holding back on signing anything until you’ve spoken with your lawyer.

5. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Finally, be smart, call Rinehardt! When up against a major truck company after being involved in a truck accident, you deserve to have someone on your side who has the tools and the knowledge to help you understand your rights and will fight for them for you. With Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, you can have peace of mind knowing you have someone in your corner who specializes in truck accident cases and who will stand up to the insurance company. Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have your best interest at heart and will make sure you get what you’re owed. Our team is experienced, committed, and has been successful in handling truck accident cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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We’re here to help you and your family get back on track after an accident. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation.