It is time once again for Thanksgiving, when many people in Connecticut will be taking to the roads to make the long trek to a family dinner. As the economy slowly improves, AAA predicts that 39.1 million people will drive 50 miles or more from home for the holiday this year, a slight increase over last year. Unfortunately, the huge surge in traffic around Nov. 22 also means that the number of car accidents will probably go up as well.

As a traffic safety expert put it, as the number of vehicles increases, the number of collisions generally increases also. It also tends to make the accidents that do occur more serious. In fact, Thanksgiving weekend is often one of the most lethal periods of the year for drivers and passengers.

Compounding the number of vehicles on the road are the conditions that often make accidents more likely. For example, many people will be driving late at night and on unfamiliar roads, meaning that fatigue and confusion could come into play. Also, too many people will be driving home after drinking alcohol at dinner.

Weather and nature can also make driving dangerous this time of year. One woman recalled when her vehicle struck a deer while driving home for Thanksgiving. The road was rainy and when the deer ran into the road, she was unable to avoid crashing into it. Fortunately, she and her passenger were unhurt, but such collisions and ones caused by human negligence often cause serious, even fatal injuries.

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

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