The risk of auto accidents is high during the Thanksgiving holiday and this year is expected to be particularly busy. There’s good news and bad news for travelers this Thanksgiving. For the first time in years, gasoline prices at many stations are expected to drop below $2 per gallon over the holiday travel days. Here in Jacksonville, the current average is $2.10 compared to $2.79 this time last year. That’s the good news, The bad news: The fuel price drop means a higher number of travelers expected on the roadways for the holiday in eight years, according to estimates from AAA. That means an even higher risk for auto accidents during what is statistically one of the most dangerous times on America’s roadways. An average 500 deaths and upward of 46,600 injuries occur in America in the days stretching from the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after. Stress, unfamiliar routes and driving under the influence of alcohol all are major contributing factors. To help keep your family safe while traveling this holiday season, Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell offers these five top tips: Avoid driving during peak times when more drivers are on the road including the days immediately before and after Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as New Year’s Eve. Opt instead for driving on the actual holiday or extend your trip and travel two days before and after. Carefully plan your route, opting for the less traveled back roads over the main thoroughfares sure to be packed with cars. Wear your seatbelt and insist all passengers do the same. Minimize distractions while behind the wheel. Put away mobile phones, keep the radio at a reasonable volume and pack toys, books or other items to help keep kids quietly occupied in the back seat. Don?t drink and drive. If you do enjoy a holiday cocktail or two, have a non-drinking designated driver lined up, take a taxi or opt for spending one more night at Grandma’s. Also, know that even if you remain perfectly sober, chances are you’ll encounter inebriated drivers on the roads during your travel. Know the signs and take extra caution. If you or your family members are injured in an auto accident this holiday season, get medical treatment and contact Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111. From all of us here at Harrell and Harrell, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.