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Car accident rate increases during Thanksgiving holiday travel

Millions of drivers across the United States are already in the process of making a journey to see friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to AAA, 90 percent of people traveling for the holiday will do so by car.

The high rate of traffic and rush of the holiday season can make the roads more dangerous this time of year. "Whenever traffic volume goes up, crashes generally go up as well," said a public safety expert. "This isn't really rocket science here: You have a lot of people on the roads over Thanksgiving, so the crashes are naturally going to get worse."

Typically this is one of the deadliest weeks on highways in the United States, with more car accidents than any other time. However, experts say that so far traffic flow has been lower than in past years, down 4 percent compared with Thanksgiving in 2011. This may lead to a small decrease in car accidents. Congestion may remain the same in some parts of the country where fuel prices have been more stable, like here in Texas.

El Paso drivers should exercise extra caution this holiday seasons and make plans in advance to avoid drowsy driving or drunk driving situations. Both are very dangerous especially at night and could result in serious injuries or fatalities.

People who are injured by drivers who are intoxicated, drowsy, speeding, or distracted at the time of the accident are entitled to recover for the negligence of the driver. Although it is not possible to turn back time through a financial settlement, car accident victims may be able to rebuild with compensation for medical expenses, property damage, time away from work, and other harm caused by the accident.

Source: USA Today, "Thanksgiving week one of deadliest on the highway," Larry Copeland, Nov. 18, 2012.

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