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Holiday travel leads to more car accidents and fatalities

Many families in West Virginia gathered together for a special Thanksgiving meal, but it was a dangerous time to travel. The long Thanksgiving weekend creates a spike in traffic fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The federal agency's analysis of traffic deaths showed that 764 deadly crashes occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2012. That holiday also produced nearly 50,000 wrecks without fatalities. For Christmas of the same year, the agency recorded 654 people killed in accidents. The NHTSA identified failure to follow safety precautions as a source of many deaths. Drunk drivers on Thanksgiving caused about 40 percent of the deadly accidents. Approximately 60 percent of victims were not wearing seat belts.

The agency has urged people to take simple steps that could reduce the chance of a wreck, such as keeping the proper amount of air in tires and installing good windshield wipers. Both of those precautions help drivers navigate in stormy conditions. People also need to schedule plenty of time for their holiday trips to avoid speeding.

When someone gets hurt in a motor vehicle collision, medical bills can mount quickly and the person might miss work because of injuries. Compensation for these expenses might be recoverable if a negligent driver caused the traffic accident. An attorney could manage the process of making an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit. This service might prove especially helpful to a person encumbered by serious injuries. To illustrate the victim's need, an attorney could organize evidence about the other driver's speeding, drinking or texting as well as medical records that document the severity of the victim's condition.

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