YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Not only is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a big travel day, but it is also a time when many people make the wrong choice to drive drunk — designating the day “Blackout Wednesday.”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that from 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died from alcohol-related crashes over Thanksgiving weekend those years.
Over 2.3 million Ohioans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving and many will be on the road. Lieutenant Brian Bucey with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said it’s the top driving time of the year.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, seven people were killed in seven deadly crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend last year. Two of those fatalities were the result of an impaired driver and three were unbuckled. Troopers in Ohio and Pennsylvania will have an increased presence on the roadways to promote a safe Thanksgiving holiday.
“Thanksgiving should be a time of gathering with family and friends. We’ll do all we can to make sure everyone arrives safely,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “That’s why we want to see everyone obeying the speed limit, buckling up, and paying attention on the road. If you plan to drink, please let someone else do the driving.”
To promote safe driving habits, ODOT is running several safety messages on more than 130 digital signs across the state. These messages include some submitted by the public.