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Why death rates spike on Thanksgiving

While the colder weather and the prevalence of flu are certainly worth worrying about, these alone do not explain why the U.S. mortality rate spikes during the Thanksgiving season. The main cause, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is to be found on the roadways. Drivers in West Virginia are warned to stay safe on the road during this season.

According to the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 764 fatal crashes on Thanksgiving 2012, about 400 of which involved motorists. At least 40 percent of the victims died at the hands of drunk drivers while around 60 percent were not wearing their seat belts.

Over 50,000 non-fatal accidents occurred on that Thanksgiving as well. There were, on the other hand, 654 fatal crashes during Christmas 2012. The NHTSA states that drivers should make sure their car tires are properly inflated and their windshield wipers work in case of winter storms.

Heart attacks also contribute to the seasonal rise in death rates. Some doctors believe that an increase in food, salt and alcohol consumption as well as the added stress that the holidays bring are the main factors. Some may, for example, exert themselves too much immediately after eating while others may forget to take their medication in the rush. Drivers who rush sometimes neglect to take road conditions into account.

No matter the season, negligent driving is all too common. Victims of such negligence can look to an attorney for help with filing their injury claim. An attorney can hire investigators to reconstruct the accident scene and gather proof of the other driver's guilt. He or she can then negotiate for a settlement with the insurance companies. A settlement could cover things like medical bills and vehicle damage; if the driver was reckless, the victim could file for punitive damages.

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