Americans know Black Friday, but have you heard of Blackout Wednesday?
Thanksgiving has become a popular time to gather with friends. If you’re home over the holiday, you may have plans to meet high school friends at a local watering hole.
Some years ago, Thanksgiving eve was dubbed Blackout Wednesday because of claims it’s the biggest drinking day of the year. Since few people work on Thanksgiving Day, the night before has become a popular night to binge drink.
“Emergency Departments are incredibly busy the night before Thanksgiving, and many of the accidents stem from alcohol consumption,” said Sandi Mackey, a former Emergency Department nurse and manager of Lahey Health’s Trauma Program. “The night before Thanksgiving is a popular time for people to get together when home for the holidays. People also tend to overdo it with drinking and this can be especially dangerous when driving is involved.”
These hospital trips include falls, alcohol poisoning and victims of car accidents, especially on Blackout Wednesday. There is also a higher rate of coronary incidents during the holiday season and cooking accidents.
The biggest threat is vehicular accidents. The odds of getting into an accident increase when there’s more traffic on the road and especially when alcohol is involved.
The National Safety Council is estimating that 433 people may be killed this Thanksgiving weekend and another 49,400 may be seriously injured in car crashes.
“Unfortunately, during holiday times, people drink and get out on the road, and that leads to big problems,” Mackey said of Blackout Wednesday.
This year, ride-hailing company Uber has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to offer free rides up to $15 starting Wednesday night until early Thanksgiving Day.
So if you plan to drink any amount on Blackout Wednesday or this weekend, stay away from the steering wheel. Be sure to buckle up, stay alert, and don’t text and drive.