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Thanksgiving Car Accidents and Death Rate Surge

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


The arrival of Thanksgiving is a sure sign that fall is making its way toward winter and the holiday season is here. Unfortunately, this day filled with your family, friends, and food often results in an abundance of car accidents. Between the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving and the Sunday night ending the weekend, tens of thousands of individuals are hurt and hundreds lose their lives in collisions. Due to the surge in Thanksgiving crashes and deaths, this weekend has become known as one of the most dangerous holidays in the U.S. each year.

There may be numerous reasons behind such a sudden climb in collisions and fatalities. However, the reasons hardly matter to you when you are injured and need additional medical treatments that cost far more than you have in savings. If you were hurt in a car accident this holiday season, do not hesitate to seek the help of an experienced lawyer of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. We understand how a crash ruins your holidays and sets you back at school or work. We offer tenacious representation with a steadfast focus on negotiating a beneficial settlement with insurers or on striving to win you a fair jury award during a personal injury suit. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you gain compensation for your injuries.

National Thanksgiving Car Accidents and Fatalities

In early November, the National Safety Council released its estimate for Thanksgiving holiday auto accidents, injuries, and fatalities. For the period between Wednesday, November 23, 6 p.m. and Sunday, November 27, 11:59 p.m., the council estimated there would be approximately 50,300 nonfatal disabling injuries and 437 traffic fatalities across the country this year. While these were projections, the council also provided a cold hard fact – from 2010 to 2015, an average 12.84 percent of all traffic fatalities during November occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Illinois’ Dangerous Thanksgiving Weekend

Illinois is not immune to this deadly trend. The state also witnesses a spike in vehicle accidents and fatalities during Thanksgiving weekend every year. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 2,878 crashes over Thanksgiving weekend in 2014, the highest amount since 2011, which saw 2,986 accidents.

In 2014, 559 of the Thanksgiving weekend crashes led to injuries, while 13 were fatal. A total of 840 people were hurt and 15 individuals were killed. This averaged 3.5 fatalities per day over the four-day weekend.

Reasons for Surge in Thanksgiving Crashes and Fatalities

There is little mystery behind the dramatic rise in car accidents and traffic deaths over Thanksgiving weekend every year. Transportation authorities are aware of the risk factors that lead to more collisions, including:

  • Additional drivers on the roads: Driving is consistently the most popular form of transportation for Thanksgiving weekend. According to American Automobile Association (AAA), there were going to be about 48.7 million Americans on the roadways traveling 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving. Individuals and families hop in their cars to go visit nearby relatives or friends for the weekend. Some even travel to more than one place to enjoy multiple meals. Unfortunately, as more people head out onto the highways to drive a few hours to see friends and family, the risk of car accidents increases.
  • Poor weather: The weather on Thanksgiving is always a toss-up. Some states enjoy clear, sunny weather. However, the Midwest often experiences cold weather along with rain and snow. Poor weather conditions mixed with millions of more people in the roads can easily lead to collisions. Rain and snow decrease visibility and reduce traction on the roads. When temps reach the lower 30s, the possibility of ice increases along with the chance of accidents.
  • Drowsy driving: Many people get up early on Thanksgiving and drive to someone else’s home to spend a long day with family and friends eating heavy food, watching sports, and enjoying alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, this combination of factors often means people head home in the later afternoon or evening when they are tired. People who drive while too tired run the risk of not paying enough attention to notice hazards in the road, drifting in to other lanes of traffic, and falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Drunk driving: People traditionally enjoy alcohol during Thanksgiving. Whether it is wine, beer, or craft cocktails, individuals often feel comfortable imbibing multiple drinks throughout the day. This often means that drivers have had too much to drink to get behind the wheel after dinner. In 2014 in Illinois, alcohol was involved in one-third of the fatalities that occurred over the holiday weekend.

Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for Help

When you are in a serious accident, you have to deal with medical procedures, insurance claims, being out of work, and confusion about what to do next. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we understand that a car accident is the last thing you wanted to experience on your holiday weekend and now you have much more to worry about this winter than you expected. Instead of taking all of this on yourself, we can help you get your insurance claims approved and negotiate a settlement that compensates your for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If your claim is denied or your settlement negotiations hit a wall, we can help you move forward with a personal injury claim in court.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a consultation and hear more about your options.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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