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Experts predict increase in travel and accidents in Asheville, Greenville, SC and elsewhere through Thanksgiving

The National Safety Council (NSC) predicts that more than 430 people will die in car accidents in Greenville, South Carolina and Asheville and elsewhere over the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend.

The holiday period starts on November 23rd at 6:00 p.m. and ends on November 27th at 11:59 p.m. The NSC also predicts that more than 43,000 people will be injured and will require medical assistance during this time. This holiday has a fatality rate more than 10 times deadlier than other similar non-holiday periods.

Thanksgiving Holiday weekend is a time when Americans head out on vacations, over to friends’ houses, to see family or to just enjoy some time off of work. When more motorists hit our roadways, accidents are more likely to happen. Drivers are urged to be alert and drive cautiously and defensively on our roadways to avoid an unnecessary accident.Our Asheville and Greenville, SC car accident attorneys understand that the number of travelers on the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend is expected be nearly 5 percent higher than last year’s holiday period. In 2010, there were about 40 million travelers over the weekend. This year, 43 million are expected. The increase in travelers will increase the roadway congestion and increase motorists’ risks of a serious accident. That’s why it’s even more important to drive safely.

Last year, the average cost for a gallon of gas during the holiday weekend was $2.88. This year’s average is $3.39, according to CNN. Despite the increase, travelers are getting out there and making the trips. The down economy won’t stop travelers from making long trips.

During Memorial Day this year, the number of travelers remained the same as the previous year. Travel actually decreased during both Labor Day and the 4th of July this year. Experts believe that Americans stayed home to save some money, but Americans are expected to disregard their financial woes for Thanksgiving.

“As consumers weigh the fear of economic uncertainty and the desire to create lasting family memories this holiday, more Americans are expected to choose family and friends over frugality,” says Bill Sutherland, vice president of AAA Travel Services.

Experts have varying perspectives on air travel. AAA believes that air travel will increase from last year’s count by 2 percent, while the Air Transport Association of America is expecting a 2 percent decrease.

All travelers are urged to be cautious on our roadways and to wear a seat belt regardless of how far you’re traveling. Studies indicate that seat belts are 45 percent effective in preventing death in an accident to a front-seat occupant. Based on those figures, the NSC estimates that more than 150 lives will be saved because an occupant was wearing a seat belt.

NSC’s previous predictions/actual fatality statistics from previous Thanksgiving Day holiday periods:

-2004: 556/556
-2005: 610/605
-2006: 555/623
-2007: 564/542
-2008: 479/484
-2009: 447/401
We would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and ask motorists to be extremely cautious while traveling.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident contact the North Carolina and South Carolina injury attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

Additional Resources:

Crowded highways expected for Thanksgiving, by Aaron Smith, CNN
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