Thanksgiving travel: Most dangerous days to drive

'There is a global epidemic happening of distracted driving'

If you’re driving to visit family for Thanksgiving, there are certain days during the week that you’ll want to be especially cautious on the road, according to a report.

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Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) published a report earlier this month that found which days are the most dangerous to be on the road during the week of Thanksgiving.

The report also found which cities were the most congested, which had the most distracted drivers and which had the highest numbers of drivers who were speeding on those days.

“There is a global epidemic happening of distracted driving,” Bill Powers, co-founder and CEO of CMT, told FOX Business. “It is for no other reason than human beings have more instant information at their fingertips through smartphones, intelligent transportation vehicles, dashboards that are like mini-computers, where you’re pressing buttons while you’re driving, even to look at the stereo. Things are different than they were … 20 years ago.”

Of course, around the holidays, there are other added distractions that compound the problem, Powers said, including congestion and potentially stressful family relationships.

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According to CMT, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the most congested day during the week.

The five most congested cities on that day are Dallas, Texas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston in order.

Dallas, Texas, is the most congested city on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, according to CMT.

However, the most dangerous day of that week to drive is Thanksgiving Day itself, the report found.

On Thanksgiving Day, there are more drivers that are speeding and more distracted drivers on the road.

Boston has the most speeding drivers on Thanksgiving day, according to CMT.

The cities that have the most speeding drivers on Thanksgiving Day are Boston, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Baltimore and Atlanta.

The cities with the most distracted drivers on Thanksgiving Day are Memphis; New Orleans; Nashville, Tennessee; Arlington, Texas; and Kansas City, Missouri.

Memphis, Tennessee, has the most distracted drivers on Thanksgiving day, CMT found.

To avoid the congestion and dangerous driving, CMT recommends leaving on Tuesday, when the roads aren’t quite as busy and drivers aren’t speeding as much.

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Overall, the best way to be safe in the car is to be aware that distracted driving is a real problem, according to Powers.

“The best practice is, eliminate distractions before you get behind the wheel,” Powers said. “You need to stay alert because you’re not on the road by yourself. There’s congestion everywhere. And when you see somebody who might be inebriated or distracted or speeding, just let them go … Don’t try to compete with that person.”

CMT gathered data for its report from its phone sensors and optional Bluetooth Tag devices that are part of the company’s DriveWell platform.

The platform can pick up information on speeding, acceleration, hard braking, cornering and distractions from smartphones, the report said.

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The data for the report was collected during the week of Thanksgiving last year, from Monday, Nov. 19 through Monday, Nov. 26. Overall, CMT analyzed 5,791,145 drivers during that week.

Aside from gathering data, CMT’s DriveWell programs help people improve their driving through various programs, many of which are gamification-based, Powers said.

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“What we’ve done is take the technology that’s available to humans today that is causing … distraction and trying to make drivers better by giving them feedback, by giving them a driving score.”

“Most people just want to know they’re doing the right thing,” he added.