The millions of Pennsylvania residents who plan to travel over the upcoming Thanksgiving Day weekend may wish to be particularly vigilant as they venture out onto the roads. Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that road traffic accident fatalities surge during holiday periods, and Thanksgiving is often the deadliest of all. During the Thanksgiving period in 2012, there were 764 fatal and about 50,000 non-fatal traffic accidents, and the data suggests that many of these crashes and deaths could have been prevented.
According to the NHTSA data, more than 60 percent of those killed were not restrained by a seat belt when they were involved in a collision, and four out of ten lost their lives in a drunk driving accident. Poor weather conditions, slick surfaces and limited visibility can also add to the dangers of Thanksgiving driving.
Several Pennsylvania roads are expected to be especially busy over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Heavy congestion is predicted on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Wednesday afternoon and Sunday evening as approximately 3.45 million drivers make their way to and from family members and loved ones, and a PA State Police representative says that troopers will be keeping a lookout for distracted drivers and unrestrained vehicle occupants.
Arguments of contributory negligence are sometimes made by the defendants in car accident lawsuits when the plaintiff may have acted recklessly by violating traffic laws or not fastening their seat belt. Personal injury attorneys in Pennsylvania may pursue litigation on behalf of accident victims, and they may gather evidence such as police reports and witness statements in order establish that their clients would have been unable to avoid serious injury at the time of the accident.