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Thanksgiving brings increased car accident risks

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Maybe you're planning to go celebrate with family in your hometown. Maybe you're driving across state lines to visit relatives you don't see as much as you want. Perhaps it's just a day for you and your friends to get together and enjoy the food and the time off from work.

Whatever your plans look like, it's important to remember that the holiday brings increased risks on the roads. Studies have shown that it's actually one of the most dangerous driving days of the year.

The issue is, to some degree, just the increase in traffic. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has said in the past that more than 46 million people will go at least 50 miles each. That's not even counting all of the people with a short trip planned. With that many people on the road, there's no avoiding an increase in accidents.

Researchers also call Thanksgiving a "driving holiday," which does set it apart from some other holidays. Travel, even if just to a parent or grandparent's house, is part of it.

Distractions also abound. Parents are in the car with their kids. Some drivers are intoxicated after drinking, eating and watching football. People are driving in places they don't frequent every day. They're trying to plan and communicate with others, perhaps by using cellphones. The risk level notches up with every additional issue.

That doesn't mean you should stay in over the holidays. They're a great time for people to get together and celebrate. Just make sure you understand the risks and your legal options if you're injured in a car crash.

Source: Yahoo, "10 Worst Days for Driving," Mark Vallet, accessed Nov. 16, 2017

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