Thanksgiving is the unofficial start of the holiday season, ushering in Christmas music and the hustle and bustle of shopping and parties. Unfortunately, as the holiday spirit rises, so does the possibility of death. While some of those deaths are caused by illness, the most notable reason for the increased number of deaths is traffic accidents. In fact, Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday for automobile crashes in Kentucky and the rest of the United States.

For that reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues warnings each year around the Thanksgiving holidays, urging drivers to take proper precautions before setting out on their holiday travels. According to the NHTSA’s most recent data, there were 764 fatal car accidents and 50,000 non-fatal accidents on Thanksgiving Day in 2012.

Most of the accidents could have been prevented if drivers took proper precautions prior to their departure. Vehicle maintenance, including checking tires and car fluids, can reduce the number of accidents. The NHTSA also recommends that people leave plenty of time for their travels so that they don’t need to speed or ignore vehicle safety laws. Of the fatal accidents in 2012, 40 percent involved drunk drivers and 60 percent involved drivers or passengers who were not using their seat belts.

Even with the best of precautions and the most careful driving, accidents can happen because of poor road conditions or mistakes made by other drivers. The impact of these accidents can be devastating and cause long-term financial problems for the involved parties. Large medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering are just a few of the financial problems that face accident victims. Attorneys who have experience in litigating car accident claims could help an injured victim receive compensation for their suffering.