New data reveals that most red-light violations during the holiday weekend occurred on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, while the most speeding violations occurred on Thanksgiving Day, according to smart mobility technology corporation, Verra Mobility.
The company examined driving data from its proprietary U.S. traffic safety systems across nearly 200 communities and found almost 50,000 red-light violations and 200,000 speed violations occurred during the 2022 Thanksgiving weekend – Wednesday through Sunday – now estimated to be the deadliest Thanksgiving since 2007, according to the National Safety Council.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows more than 570 traffic fatalities occurred during this five-day period in 2020 and 2021 – an increase of more than 20 percent compared to 2019.
Verra Mobility’s aggregated data also showed both speed and red light had the most violations during the afternoon hours, from 1-5 p.m., compared to any other period during the holiday weekend. This trend was consistent for 2021 and 2020, leading to reliable predictions for the 2023 Thanksgiving driving predictions.
“Drivers need to be particularly alert on Wednesday and Thursday during Thanksgiving weekend,” said Jon Baldwin, executive vice president of government solutions, Verra Mobility. “Speeding is a factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities; nobody wants to be a statistic during the holidays.”
Wednesday also had the most violations for years 2021 and 2020 with the average number of violations per location increasing year over year, analysis of the data found.
In 2020-2022, the evening rush hour, 5-7 p.m., had one of the lowest number of citations, whereas the afternoon, 1-5 p.m., had the highest; midday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., came in second.
In 2022, the data revealed that Thanksgiving Day had the most speed citations of the holiday weekend, reaching more than 45,000; this was followed by Saturday in second place, and a close third was Black Friday.
The data showed that speeding periods mimicked red-light data with the afternoon hours, 1-5 p.m., receiving the highest volume of citations, followed by midday. Rush hour, 5-7 p.m., had the lowest violation period, the mobility technology company noted.
“We all want to get to our holiday destination to celebrate with family and friends. But with so many distractions already on the roads, we need to be more vigilant about how we get there,” said Baldwin. “By prioritizing safety and responsible driving, we can all contribute to safer roads, a crucial component to everyone getting home this holiday.”