Blackout Wednesday: A Deadly Tradition

You may or may not be aware that today, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, will mark a boom in bar business around the greater Columbia area. Blackout Wednesday or “Drinksgiving” is the biggest bar night of the year according to an article written in Business Insider in 2017 by columnist Mike Shield.

In the article, he describes a cultural phenomenon that bar owners are embracing, tapping into and expanding the explosive market. Some drinking establishments in the article reported a 400 percent increase in sales over a normal Wednesday. And it just so happens that this drinking holiday coincides with one of the busiest travel evenings of the year.

Triple AAA is reporting more than 54 million Americans will be traveling this year for Thanksgiving. That is a 4.8 percent increase from the previous year. All of this travel along with the mass celebration can make for a deadly combination.

Emergency 911 Scene

According to an Article published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), between 2012 to 2016 there were more than 800 drunk driving fatalities reported over the Thanksgiving weekend, making it the deadliest holiday on our roads. That reporting was from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday, the week of Thanksgiving. The EHS daily (environment, health, and safety) reports that the National Safety Council estimates 433 people may be killed and another 49,400 may be seriously injured in car crashes during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Law enforcement all over the country are ramping up the police presence in anticipation of drivers under the influence.

The takeaway from this post is to be responsible. To help ensure safer travels for yourself and others this holiday weekend consider the following:

1. Avoid drinking and driving. If you plan to drink, be sure to prepare a safe alternative method of transportation like Uber or Lyft, or designate a sober driver.

2. If possible, travel early on Wednesday and leave later on Monday.

3. Talk to your loved ones about responsible holiday preparation and safe travels.

We are all responsible for ensuring that our roadways are safe for the holidays. As we take time for the holiday season, let’s make safety a priority for our families.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Shields, Mike. (2017, November 22). Wednesday is 'Drinksgiving' -- One of the booziest days of the year -- and bars are bracing for it.

MADD. (2017, November 22). Danger Oncoming: Blackout Wednesday day of increased drunk driving.

Contributing Editor. (2018, November 19). Thanksgiving Holiday Brings Road Dangers.

Hall, Julie. (2018, November 8). AAA: More Than 54 Million Americans to Travel this Thanksgiving, the Most Since 2005.