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Increased holiday travel increases accident numbers

During the last two months of each year, millions of Americans travel the nation's highways as they seek to spend time with friends and family. From nights out at local restaurants to cross-country trips to see the folks, holiday travel can bring joy and adventure. Unfortunately, it also increases the number of motor vehicle accidents that occur.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 91 percent of holiday travel in the country is accomplished via personal vehicles. That means a lot more traffic on the road. Travel is also spread throughout the days and week surrounding each holiday in question, especially when families or individuals are traveling more than 100 miles.

At the same time more travelers are on the roads, truck traffic also increases. From meeting consumer shipping needs to stocking stores for busy shopping days, companies have a lot of reasons to put people on the road around the holidays.

All of this traffic and traveling leads to more accidents. People traveling long distances to see friends and family might push through hours of driving without getting enough rest. The same is true for truckers attempting to meet delivery requirements. Other causes of holiday accidents could include distracted or drunk driving, speeding and simply too many vehicles on the roadway.

The possibility of an accident shouldn't keep you from friends and family, but you should be aware of risks on the road so you can react appropriately. If you are involved in an accident with a large truck or other vehicle -- and the accident is the fault of another party -- then you do have the ability to seek compensation for your losses.

Source: United States Department of Transportation, "U. S. Holiday Travel," accessed Nov. 26, 2015

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