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More Thanksgiving Travel Expected, Increasing Risks of Car Accidents in Knoxville

Although gas prices are higher this year, many Americans will be venturing out for the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there will be nearly 43 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home on Turkey Day weekend.

That’s nearly 5 percent more than the 41 million who set out last year. The increase in travel is expected to increase your risks for a car accident in Knoxville and elsewhere.

This year, a gallon of gas is about $3.39 per gallon, whereas last year the average cost per gallon was only $2.88. The cost of gas is believed to be the reason why Memorial Day travel was about the same as last year and why Independence Day and Labor day saw decreased travel numbers, according to CNN. Experts believe that residents are sick of staying home though and are bypassing their tendency to be frugal and traveling out of the house this holiday.

Our Knoxville car accident attorneys understand that the National Safety Council (NSC) predicts that more than 430 people are expected to die in a traffic accident over the holiday weekend. The holiday weekend officially begins on Wednesday, November 23rd at 6:00 p.m. and ends on Sunday November 27th at 11:59 p.m.

The NSC also predicts that another 43,000 people will be injured seriously enough to require assistance from a medical professional. Although this year’s estimate is about 20 percent less than the average number of fatalities from the past 6 years, drivers are still asked to be extremely cautious on our roadways.

“Driving AAA’s projected increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers is pent-up demand from Americans who may have foregone holiday travel the last three years,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president of AAA Travel Services.

Driving will be the main form of transportation over the upcoming holiday weekend. Air travel predictions vary. AAA predicts that there will be a 2 percent increase in air travel, while the Air Transport Association of America is anticipating a 2 percent decrease.

Those who are traveling on our roadways during the holiday weekend are asked to travel slowly, cautiously and to wear a seat belt regardless of how far you’re traveling. Recent studies indicate that seat belts are nearly 50 percent effective in preventing death in the event of an accident for front-seat passengers.

Based on study information, more than 150 person’s lives are expected to be saved because of a seat belt. If all vehicle occupants were to wear a seat belt, the NSC predicts that more than 100 additional lives could be saved.

The NSC’s estimated fatalities/actual fatalities for Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend:

-2004: 556 estimated. 556 actual.

-2005: 610 estimated. 605 actual.

-2006: 555 estimated. 623 actual.

-2007: 564 estimated. 542 actual.

-2008: 479 estimated. 484 actual.

-2009: 447 estimated. 401 actual.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.

More Blog Entries:

Crowded highways expected for Thanksgiving, by Aaron Smith, CNN

More Blog Entries:

Car Accidents in Tennessee Caused by Sleepy Drivers Targeted During Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, November 9, 2011

Picking a Vehicle: Help Keep Your Teen Safe in a Tennessee Car Accident, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, August 3, 2011

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