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Traffic deaths rise over Thanksgiving holiday

Kentucky drivers should take extra care during the Thanksgiving holiday. Research shows that traffic fatalities spike up around the annual family feast and stay elevated throughout the winter months.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday for American drivers. Data from the agency's Fatality Analysis Reporting System shows there were 764 fatal car accidents and nearly 50,000 non-fatal car accidents over the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday. In contrast, there were 654 fatal traffic collisions over Christmas the same year.

The NHTSA reports that many holiday traffic fatalities are preventable. For example, drunk driving was involved in 40 percent of all Thanksgiving traffic deaths. Around 60 percent of those killed weren't wearing seat belts. To reduce Thanksgiving car accidents, the NHTSA reminds drivers to never drink and drive, always wear seat belts and obey speed limits. The agency also recommends that drivers check their tires for proper inflation and make sure their windshield wipers are in good condition, especially if poor weather is expected.

Car accidents cause thousands of injuries and deaths in the U.S. each year. Kentucky residents injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, such as a drunk driver or distracted driver, may benefit by contacting an attorney to discuss their legal rights. After reviewing the case, legal counsel may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages. If the complaint is successful, an injured victim may be awarded compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Likewise, families who have lost a loved one in a fatal crash may wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit seeking funeral and burial costs, loss of income, loss of companionship and other related damages.

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