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Thanksgiving season can be deadly for drivers

Drivers in New Jersey should be extra careful on the roadways during Thanksgiving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There’s a good reason why — Thanksgiving may be the deadliest holiday for travelers in the U.S.

Based on the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 764 deadly crashes during Thanksgiving in 2012, with about 400 of them involving motorists. In comparison, Christmas 2012 saw 654 fatal crashes. Almost 50,000 non-fatal crashes also took place during the Thanksgiving season that year.

The NHTSA further states that 40 percent of those fatal crashes involved drunk drivers. Furthermore, about 60 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts. This tragically shows how many of the accidents are preventable. The agency does its part by telling drivers to make sure their vehicle tires are inflated and windshield wipers are working. Most importantly, it warns drivers not to rush but to plan ahead, taking factors like weather, traffic and road conditions into account.

Heart attacks also add to the high mortality rates around Thanksgiving. Some experts link it to the psychological and emotional stress of the holidays as well as to a general increase in food, salt and alcohol consumption. Considering all the holiday activities, some people could forget to take medications while others may exert themselves immediately after a heavy meal.

The holiday rush inevitably leads some drivers to take risks on the road. If someone incurs a personal injury through the negligence of another, they can consult with a lawyer about filing a claim. The victim may receive compensation for medical bills, vehicle damage and lost wages. The lawyer could hire investigators to find proof before negotiating with the insurance companies.