(KLFY) — If you’re planning on driving to your Thanksgiving dinner, you may want to be a little extra careful.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Louisiana has the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the U.S. per capita over the Thanksgiving holiday period.

The state of Louisiana is preceded only by Mississippi and trailed behind by Alabama for having the highest traffic-related per-capita death toll during the Thanksgiving holiday week.

The portion of I-10 in Ascension Parish is one of the deadliest stretches of road in the United States. According to the NHTSA, only six stretches in the nation within a single county had more fatal auto crashes in the Thanksgiving holiday periods between 2006 and 2020.

The NHTSA defines the Thanksgiving holiday period as 6 p.m. Wednesday through 5:59 a.m. Monday.

According to a study done by jerry.com, a website dedicated to comparing car insurance rates and refinancing auto loans, Thanksgiving is the deadliest driving holiday, topping both Labor Day and the Fourth of July for fatal crashes. 

Furthermore, young people tend to bear the brunt of holiday collisions, according to the study. One quarter of all people killed in Thanksgiving traffic crashes in the past 15 years were between the ages of 16 and 25 years old, based on NHTSA statistics.

Other takeaways from the study include:

  • The Thanksgiving holiday period ranks as the deadliest major holiday for American drivers, with 6% more fatal crashes than Labor Day, the second-deadliest, and 43% more than Christmas, the least deadly.
  • Of all fatalities, 69% were male.
  • Nearly two-thirds (60%) of all fatal crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday involve either alcohol or speeding.
  • The most fatalities are seen on Saturdays. The most dangerous hours are early evening. 
  • Half of all fatal crashes during Thanksgiving take place in rural areas, and 56% involve a vehicle leaving the roadway.
  • The three most treacherous hours of the week are all at 6 p.m., on Wednesday, Sunday and Thursday. With the exception of Thursday and Sunday nights, fatal crashes remain elevated between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. The early morning hours of Monday see the fewest.

Louisiana State Police are encouraging motorists to carve out time to safely plan for holidays before they hit the road.

For example, instead of leaving at the same time as everyone else, state police suggest you leave a day or even days before the actual holiday. This prevents the hassle of driving over the speed limit to make sure you get to your destination on time.

If you leave ahead of time your chances are being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic is low.

State police warn commuters, the extra five minutes you save from speeding is not worth the risk of a speeding ticket, losing your life or taking someone else’s life.