Thanksgiving is a joyful holiday for many families in Michigan. However, it can also be a dangerous day of the year that kicks off a season full of heart attacks, flu outbreaks and car accidents. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death rate in the U.S. rises significantly during the holiday and remains high throughout the rest of the winter.
Because Thanksgiving is a notoriously dangerous day to drive, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a safety warning this year reminding drivers to be extra cautious on the roads this holiday weekend. NHTSA data from 2012 showed that there were 764 fatal car accidents on Thanksgiving compared to 654 fatal car accidents on Christmas Day. On Thanksgiving 2012, there were almost 50,000 car accidents that did not involve a fatality.
Though late-fall weather conditions are a factor in many Thanksgiving crashes, a lot of the car accidents that occur on that day can be prevented. For example, NHTSA data from Thanksgiving 2012 shows that 40 percent of the passengers who were killed were involved in accidents with drunk drivers. In addition to practicing responsible drinking, drivers can work to prevent car accidents on Thanksgiving by keeping their tires property inflated and making sure that their windshield wipers work properly.
Even though the holidays can be a dangerous time for motorists, many people drive long distances in the late fall and early winter in order to be with their families. A person who is injured in a car accident may file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Victims of car accidents typically petition for reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages and property damage.